Historic Markers Across Florida

Firefighter Vista S. Lowe

Marker ID:  
Location: 409 East Zarragossa Street, Pensacola, FL
County: Escambia
Coordinates: N 30° 24.552    W 087° 12.56
  30.4092    -87.20933333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMKB60


At this site on September 30, 1962, Firefighter Vista Spencer Lowe, age 23, died in the line of duty while responding to a house fire at 409 East Zarragossa Street. Upon arrival at the scene, Firefighter Lowe stepped from the rear tailboard of the pumper he was riding (Engine 5, a 1957, 1,000-gallon Seagrave Pumper Truck), tripped and fell to the ground. Unaware of Lowe's location, the pumper's driver began backing his truck, trapping Lowe under the truck and crushing him. Lowe was the third firefighter with the Pensacola Fire Department (PFD) and the 33rd Florida firefighter to lose his life in the line of duty. Lowe's death caused the PFD to change its rules and regulations governing standard operating procedures and training methods, requiring that no fire apparatus be backed up at any time without a department member directing traffic. As a result of these changes, no firefighter with the PFD has since died in the manner in which Firefighter Lowe lost his life in 1962.

Erected 2012 by Sons Matthew D. and Mark D. Lowe and the Florida Department of State.