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A Tribute to Dean Paderick

A bio tells you the facts . . . . An obituary shares a bit more . . . .

But you learn the most about a person from the stories . . . . the stories told by family, friends, colleagues and sometimes, strangers.

This is a tribute to an industry icon who has been described as a tough man and a gentle man, a man who kept accounts and a man who was generous, a private man and a man with far-reaching connections.

A man of contradictions?

No, Dean was a man with a larger than life personality who impacted many through the years by sharing his technical knowledge,

industry experience and business expertise and just as important, his approach to life.

Dean was a determined man who never failed to do whatever it was that he said he was going to do. He went out of the world the same way he lived in it - doing things on his own terms. He shared his intention to not die in the hospital and true to his word, he didn’t. True to form, he did it ‘The Dean Way”.

Always an in-charge kind of guy, Dean’s approach to everything - not just through his military or fire rescue activities - was to decide what to do then get moving on doing it. Known for leading from the front, Dean had the knack of being able to convince others to follow. As a mentor and coach, Dean was responsible for the making of many in the fire and rescue community whom he supported, nurtured and equipped to enable growth. His shadow of influence was great and its influence will extend into the future.

Dean negotiated life by building a network of connections and Spec’s success is more than any other factor grounded in the relationships that this one man created. Solid relationships that were built on a handshake rather than by written contract. That approach defined Dean, a man of his word who expected the same from others. Somehow, Dean took a dysfunctional group of four firefighters and a grand total of 4K and built Spec into a multi-million-dollar company that has through its existence touched the lives of thousands of fire rescue personnel. His body of work, and his legacy, will always stand the test of time.

Thank you, Dean, for your impact on our lives, the growth of our business and your contributions to our industry.

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