Stephen Justin Cook
Hero Name
Stephen Cook
City of Cedar Rapids Water Division
City & State/Province
Family, friends remember Palo man killed after Friday crash, IA
Kathy Holmes

Stephen Cook, 35, of Palo was a Cedar Rapids Water Division employee since 2008 and a volunteer firefighter for the better part of a decade, including for the last four years in Palo.

Stephen Cook died Saturday April 18, 2015 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the day after he was thrown from a city van that collided with a truck driven by a Hiawatha man allegedly fleeing police.

'He could do anything. You could have the confidence to get the job done.'

- Palo Fire Chief James Seely

On Stephen Cook as a firefighter

On Sunday, members of the Palo Fire Department swarmed the community and erected more than 90 flags provided by the American Legion in Cook's honor. Palo Fire Chief James Seely described Cook as someone you could count on.

'He was the kind of guy you would want by your side if you were going to go into a raging house fire,' Seely said Sunday. 'He could do anything. You could have the confidence to get the job done.'

And when that job was done, Cook was someone you'd want to sit and have a drink with, Seely said.

'He was super easy to get along with,' he said.

Chris Cook said belonging to the fire department was 'extremely important' to his brother.

'He loved the fire department,' Cook said. 'I think one of the things he liked was teaching the kids about fire safety. That was something that really appealed to him. I think the camaraderie and the ability to really help out people when they were in need was the biggest thing for him. He's always been like that.'