There are many great men and women in the Gilbert Fire Department, but Battalion Chief James Nelson made an incredible impact on everyone whose lives he touched, the department and the Gilbert community. His death was completely unexpected and many are still grieving.
BC James Nelson started as a firefighter in 1993, progressing up the ladder, and ending his time with Gilbert Fire as a Battalion Chief. He was the embodiment of what it meant to be a firefighter and a human being, giving of himself to the department, his community and his family.
His fingerprints are all over the department and the community of Gilbert, and his effect will be felt for many years to come. From the stations and apparatus, to helping out with fire charities, and his involvement with department and city committees – he gave a lot of time and energy to better the community he served and the men and women in it.
It was his nature to help anyone and everyone he could. He was known for being personally connected to the men and women under his command, often helping them with personal as well as professional needs. He mentored many people and helped them grow, learn and be successful.
He was married to the love of his life, Kerry and had 3 daughters. His legacy of service lives on in his family as they continue to give of themselves for the betterment of the Gilbert community.