Gaicki Park 

One of Tempe‚Äôs smallest parks, the park stands in memory and honor of the Tempe firefighter/paramedic Ed Gaicki. On January 15, 1980, Ed and his company responded to a fire at the Jumbo Bagel Deli located at 1352 E. Apache in what is now the Food City shopping center. 

When responding units first arrived, there was smoke rising from the roof, but the inside of the deli was clear. Ed, who was assigned to the rescue truck that day, worked alongside the balance of the units that had responded from the firehouse at 1000 E. University. They began pulling ceilings to get at the fire that they knew was burning in the space above them. The collapse of the roof was sudden and unexpected and the fire began to burn furiously. In total, a dozen firefighters entered the building that day, but, unfortunately, Ed was the only firefighter who did not come out. While his friends and colleagues attempted numerous recues, there was nothing that could be done and Ed Gaicki surrendered that day to a higher calling. 

Only 28 at the time, Ed had already left a significant chapter to tell. Ed was a 1970 graduate of McClintock High School where he had earned All-American honors as a running back and was elected president of his senior class. Upon gradation, Ed accepted an appointment into the Air Force Academy. However, the lure of being a fireman for the City of Tempe was too appealing. 

Ed was hired on as a Tempe Firefighter in 1975. He had been with the department for 5 years, before his untimely and unexpected death. In his short time with the department, he left an impression on many of his peers and colleagues. To this day, Ed remains the only firefighter killed in the line of duty since the department transitioned from an all volunteer force to a professional department. 

Park size is 2 acres.

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