Memorial projected to cost approximately $18,000

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FARMINGTON — Several members of the community are working to raise money to build a memorial for a recently deceased Farmington firefighter who associates say left his mark on the department.

The Farmington Professional Firefighters union, along with the nonprofit River Reach Foundation, is trying to raise $18,000 to build a memorial in Animas Park to honor Lt. Jacob Shadd Rohwer, who died of cancer on Jan. 11.

Capt. Tom Anderson of the Farmington Fire Department said Rohwer's cancer was presumably caused after he was exposed to hazardous chemicals in the line of duty while protecting the citizens of Farmington.

Rohwer trained hundreds of people in swift-water rescue techniques and the use of personal protective equipment, leaving a legacy that changed how the department operates, Anderson said.

"We want the public to see his legacy and what he gave up for the city," Anderson said.

Farmington Fire Department officials have told The Daily Times Rohwer was committed to purchasing new equipment and implementing new policies to help protect firefighters in the department.

The organizers are working with the city of Farmington to find a spot to place Rohwer's memorial in Animas Park because he was enthusiastic about participating in the annual Riverfest celebration, which is organized by the River Reach Foundation.

Organizers will discuss finding a spot for the memorial with a committee for the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department during a meeting in March.

Anderson described the memorial having a 12-foot-by-20-foot patio, two bronze benches, and a 3- to 4-foot block pedestal with a bronze sculpture and a bronze plaque with Rohwer's story on it.

Architect Daryl Polston is helping with the project, Anderson said.

Organizers hope to raise the money as soon as possible in order to have the memorial completed and installed by May 26, just before the start of Riverfest.

They plan to host a ceremony to unveil the memorial and give the public a chance to learn about Rohwer's effect on the Farmington Fire Department.

There are multiple options to donate to the memorial. Donations to the Farmington Professional Firefighters Association can be dropped off at Four Corners Community Bank with Rohwer Memorial written on the check. Anderson asks citizens not to send donations to the Farmington Fire Department.

Online donations can be made to a GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/lt-jacob-shadd-rohwer-memorial.

People looking for a 501(c)3 tax statement with their donation can drop off donations at Basin Home Health at 200 N. Orchard Ave. in Farmington, Anderson said.

Those requesting information on the memorial can contact Anderson via email at tanderson@firenet.org.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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