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(courtesy of "Johnny")

Grave marker for James A. Dowling in  Section 9 West of the Evergreen Cemetery, Jacksonville (Duval county), Florida

DOWLING - Funeral services for James A. Dowling, Jr., 84, who died Saturday, June 6, 1998, will be held Tuesday at 11 AM in George H. Hewell and Son Northside Funeral Home with Chaplain Wayne Young officiating. Interment in Evergreen Cemetery. The family will receive friends Monday (Today) from 6-8 PM at the Funeral Home.

Mr. Dowling was a native of Jacksonville, Florida and a lifelong resident. He served in the U.S. Army 508th Inf. 82nd AB Div. retiring in 1962 after 31 years service in the Army National Guard with the rank of Colonel. He had 41 years of service with the Jacksonville Fire Dept., retiring with the rank of Chief; and was founder of Fire Rescue Division with the City of Jacksonville.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Ferne G. Dowling; a daughter, Jane Ramsdell (Herbert); 2 granddaughters, Kelly and Pam Ramsdell. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of your choice

[Times-Union, Jacksonville-Duval co., FL , June 9. 1998]

Rescuer Founder dies at 84
James Dowling served 41 Years

   James A. Dowling, Jr., who founded Jacksonville's rescue service in 1967 after a 20-year struggle, will be buried in Evergreen Cemetery today after an 11 a.m. service at George H. Hewell and Son Funeral Home 4747 N. Main St.
   Mr. Dowling, 84, died at his North Shore home Saturday after a brief illness.  He retired from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department in 1978 after more than 41 years of service.
   Mr. Dowling has been credited with developing a sophisticated "emergency room on wheels" service to replace an ambulance service provided by funeral homes, which sometimes fought at the scene to pick up the most critically injured patient.  If that person died, the company would have an edge on getting the funeral business.
   "All of us in fire and rescue work are better off because of Chief Dowling," said Ray Alfred, Jacksonville's Fire and Rescue director sinew 1995.
   Alfred said he was told before he came to Jacksonville from Washington, DC, that ther were two men he needed to know in the rescue field in Jacksonville --- Mr. Dowling and the late Roy Baker.
   "Everyone has attempted to replicate what Chief Dowling and Dr. Baker started here in Jacksonville, Alfred said.
   A native of Jacksonville and a third-generation firefighter, Mr. Dowling interrupted his fire career in 1939 to serve in the military.  He had joined the Florida in 1931 while a senior at Andrew Jackson High School and retired as a colonel in 1962.

   During World War II he served in Europe with the 82nd and 17th Airborne Divisions and made a number of jumps behind enemy lines.  It was during the war, he said, in a 1978 interview he saw the tremendous importance of first aid to save the lives of injured soldiers and became interested in the work of the Red Cross.
   Back in Jacksonville after the war, in addition to resuming his fire service career, Mr. Doweling became volunteer director of first aid for the American Red Cross.   Over the next 39 years, he taught first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation to thousands of people.
   Jacksonville's modern rescue service was born in 1987 with a couple of fire chiefs' station wagons, which were equipped with Band-Aids, a few rolls of gauze and some improvised wooden splints only.
   Mr. Dowling pursued a federal grant for some modern rescue units and doctors of every specialty were enlisted to teach rescue personnel.
   It wasn't long after the start that Jacksonville became known as the safest city in the world, said retired Fire Chief Edgar Aid, who worked with Mr. Dowling for 25 years.
   "He told all the firefighters, 'Find all the injuries, treat all the wounds, transportation is the least important.  The first three minutes mean more than a lifetime.'" Aid said.
   Fire and Rescuer Capt. Herb Ramsdell, who married Mr. Dowling's daughter, Jane, said of his father-in-law: In the true sense of he word, he was a servant to the public."
   Mr. Dowling is survived by his wife, Ferne; his daughter Jane Ramsdell; and two granddaughters, wall of Jacksonville.  The family requests donations to a favorite charity in lieu of flowers.
[Times-Union, Jacksonville-Duval co., FL , June 9. 1998]

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