Bennie Crane passed away on July 4, 2009, after a long illness. A popular speaker and certified facilitator, Crane began his fire service career with the Chicago (IL) Fire Department in 1961 and retired as district chief in 1995. He was a field instructor with the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute and Northwestern University. Crane was a longtime member of the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) Associate Advisory Board, reviewing call for presentations submissions that helped to shape the educational content of the FDIC. He was a frequent speaker on leadership and diversity at FDIC and wrote on those topics for Fire Engineering. Crane also co-authored with Dr. Julian Williams the book Personal Empowerment: Achieving Individual and Departmental Excellence (Fire Engineering, 2002). He owned Bennie L. Crane & Associates, a consultant organization serving the public sector.
Fire Engineering and the fire service were deeply saddened this weekend to hear of the passing of this great friend, mentor, and leader of the American fire service. Bennie always had a kind word of encouragement, a contagious smile, and a good word for every firefighter he met. We all knew him as a man of deep faith, tremendous commitment to the fire service, and unfaltering belief in the goodness of his fellow man. Bennie was a wonderful gentleman and an excellent friend, and he will be deeply missed by everyone who knew and loved him.
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