Rest in peace brothers.
After a tough couple days the USFA says there were 49 LODD’s as of 7/27/2010. 2 more in Bridgeport Conn, 1 in Otis Mass, 2 more in Rocky Mount Va.
A Line of Duty Death is one of THE hardest things a firefighter will ever have to deal with. EVER
For all you vets out there, think about what kept you going when you were deployed. It wasn’t because you were fighting for freedom for some people from a country you couldn’t find on a map in high school. You fought because of the soldier beside you. You fought to protect him/her and the favor was returned.
It’s the same in the fire service. You do your job and do your best to help out your fellow firefighter, look after each other. When one of YOUR brothers dies there is a feeling that you let them down. You let everybody in the department down. You have let their family down.
This is not the case.
I’ve been involved in the extrication and removal of LODD’s. Not a highlight of my career. Dealing with injured children is horrible. Dealing with the removal of your deceased brother is worse. The guy you hung out with last week, it’s worse. The guy who stopped you from falling into the water at that dock fire, it’s worse. The guy that pissed you off because he came in late for work the one day you needed to leave early, the guy that won’t come to work again, is far far worse. 1 person involved with the same LODD as me took early retirement, it’s that bad. These incidents weigh heavy on the people who work them. And I’m sure it’s the same in Bridgeport, Rocky Mount and Otis currently. But this is also part of the job. Personally I was fine until we had the victim packaged and were waiting for his company to come and carry him out. I came a bit unglued, no details, sorry.
Why do so many firefighters show up at LODD funerals? Because we all feel like we let our brothers down. This is the same job city to city, town to town, state to state. Same guys, same personalities, same family, same families.
The least we can do is show up on their final day and wish them good luck on the next part of their voyage.
The least we can do is show the city that they have more than just their own firefighters to answer to.
The least we can do is show the country why we are called a brotherhood.
But most importantly, to show the fallen firefighter’s family that we look after each other and we take the loss personally also.
Learn from every death or they die in vain. I hope the best for the people who worked the scenes, and also for those who are still in the hospital.
Rest in peace, see you in Bridgeport.