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Tower-Sudan Firefighter Ballard Turnbull  

MN Firefighter
Ballard Turnbull, who lost his battle with liver cancer and died on August 8th 2006,
dedicated his life to serving the Tower-Soudan community and the Iron Range.

For nearly 30 years Ballard served as supervisor of the Tower Area Ambulance Service.  He took great pride in his role in the community and worked tirelessly to continue to improve the skills and equipment of the service.  He impacted countless lives through emergency response and as a role model for others. 
Ballard was also an EMT Instructor and Tester for the State of Minnesota.  His students will surely remember his clear passion for the topic as well as his fun and sense of humor.  In his day job, he worked as Training Coordinator for US Steel, working to make the workplace safer for Minntac and other mills. 
Though he himself did not obtain a college degree, Ballard believed strongly in the value of education. and would be so proud to help others pursue a degree which will allow them to start out their career doing something that they love and will make a difference for people.

Because Ballard’s disease progressed so rapidly, and he was fighting until the end, there was no time for him to leave his words of wisdom.  We want to capture his lessons in how he lived his life.  If you have a story to share, there is a place to leave your stories online at


For fire departments that are interested in attending firefighter Joe Farrell’s funeral on Friday February 29, 2008 and would like to bring a fire truck, they need to contact:

Captain Chuck Solseth  Cell-507-208-6032 or, email him at:

Captain Solseth will provide instructions for times and staging area’s for their apparatus.

Gone But Never Forgotten

Ballard Turnbull - Past Chief of Tower Fire Department and Director of Tower Area Ambulance Service

Sad News:
Ballard Turnbull of the Tower Fire Department passed away early Tuesday evening at around 7:15 pm after a courageous battle with liver cancer.

Ballard with his wife Marilyn Turnball
Photo by Timberjay Newspaper

Jeff Mayer, LNFFWSA Chairman, and Dave Durrant, LNFFWSA Secretary/Treasurer arranged a parade and salute to Ballard on Sunday as Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement personnel conducted a silent tribute parade of emergency vehicles to honor Ballard Turnbull who was suffering from liver cancer.

For many years Ballard has been a Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician and is past Chief of Tower Fire Department and Director of Tower Area Ambulance Service. His efforts have benefited virtually everyone in our area over the years.

The parade was on Sunday, August 6, 2006 in Tower, Minnesota just two days before Ballard passed way and he was able to watch as the members of the public safety community and others along with vehicles proceed East past Ballard's house. 

The event was a total surprise to Ballard as he watched this tribute to him and his career in public safety.

A special thanks to Tower Fire Chief Rolando Noyes, Dave Durrant and Jeff Mayer, of the LNFFWSA for providing coordination and IC for the event.

Ballard was presented with Congressional Fire Service Institute Award from  Congressman James Oberstar, D-Minn., for his leadership towards public safety for his community.

Here are participant units for Ballard Turnbull parade:
1 Breitung/Tower Police
1 bureau of Indian Affairs BIA Police
2 St Louis County Sheriff
2 Tower Area Ambulance Service
4 Tower FD
3 Breitung FD
1 Mountain Iron FD
1 Pike-Sandy-Britt FD
2 Eagles Nest FD
4 Greenwood FD
1 Vermilion Lake FD
1 Chisholm FD
1 Northern Lights [Pete Makowski] FD
1 Ely FD
1 Cherry FD
1 Embarrass Region FD
1 Virginia FD
1 Cook FD
1 Hibbing FD
1 Fortune Bay EMS
1 Red Knights MN III / Fire/EMS/Safety Center
1 Orr Ambulance
1 Jeff Damm

34 Total Parade Units
  Click photos to enlarge

Ballard L Turnbull
311 2ND ST N,
TOWER, MN 55790
(218) 753-3126

Funeral arrangements are through Bauman-Vermilion Funeral Home in Tower, MN.

Friday evening visitation from 5-8pm at the Bauman-Vermilion Funeral Home. Memorials are preferred.

Ballard Turnbull Funeral Service set for 11:00am Saturday August 12, 2006 at St Martins Catholic Church in Tower MN. Visitation prior to the service at 10:00am.

TOWER, MN 55790

Map Link to Church

Bauman-Vermilion, A Bauman Family Funeral Home
501 Main Street
Minnesota 55790
Phone: (218) 753-6593


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