Captain JP’s smile continues helping his family

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:21 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Early Friday morning, fire crews saluted their fallen firefighter as he was loaded into a car and pumper truck 18 from Firehouse 35 led the procession to the funeral home.

Kansas City Firefighter Captain John Parison is being honored with t-shirts and hoodies that will benefit his family after he died of colon cancer on Thursday.

His family is losing a significant source of income and Embroidery and Screen Printing and Pro Apparel are donating $15 from every sale to the Pierson family.

“Knowing that she’s losing the other income in the household, she will get a percentage of his pension, stuff like that, but when you lose a whole family’s income, it’s kind of hard on the family,” Dawn Eddings, owner of Embroidery and Screen Printing said.

Captain JP was a mentor to firefighters including the shirt and hoodie designer Justin Fitzwater. He said JP immediately welcomed him to the fire station when he was first starting out, and offered an equal amount of advice and laughs.

“His smile is absolutely contagious, his laugh was contagious, his jokes were contagious – we laughed all the time,” Fitzwater said. “Just to have him glowing and smiling on the back of the shirt is exactly what I wanted to portray.”

KCFD is feeling the loss of their friend. As of Friday afternoon, a GoFundMe has raised $39,201 towards their goal of $50,000 that will go towards JP’s family.

In T-shirt sales so far $3,824 has been raised. The shirts begin printing on Monday.

KCFD Batallion Chief and Public Information Officer Michael Hopkins said this week has been tough on the fire department, but he is proud of the farewell the were able to give JP.

“The T-shirt drive came about from his friends and crewmates. A while back, his wife used to tell him ‘he’s in Facebook Jail,’ he never got put in jail by Facebook, but his wife would say you’re done for a while,” Hopkins said. “And so we did a t-shirt that said, ‘Free JP.’ This was probably a year ago and when this (colon cancer) came about, Justin took the ‘Free JP slogan, and then made this shirt to raise money, you know to try and help his family.”