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How do LODD's affect you?

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  • How do LODD's affect you?

    How do Line of Duty Deaths affect you?

    For me, a line of duty death makes me think about the camaraderie of firefighters, and how our "family" pulls together in times of sorrow.

    I was in Worcester on December 9th, 1999 for the W6 Memorial Ceremony. I have been to other firefighter's funerals and memorial services. Early Thursday morning, a contingent of firefighters from my Department will be taking a bus with firefighters from all over Massachusetts to NYC to honor our fallen comrades.

    I agree that whenever there is a LODD, a little piece of us dies along with our Brothers and Sisters. I also believe that when we see the sea of dress blue uniforms snapping to attention to salute our heroes, after we hear the bagpipes wail their mournful tunes and hear the bells tapping out the final alarm, we are in a sense reborn, much like the Phoenix rising from the ashes. We will return to our homes and to our firehouses and await the next call...and deep within us, we pray that it will not be our final one.

    Firefighters: Today's heroes protecting everyone's tomorrows!
    Captain Gonzo

  • #2
    Well said Cap. I feel the same way. That camaraderie is what makes me so proud to be a firefighter.
    I attended the memorial service for two Coast Guardsmen that died in the line of duty here and to see that sea of blue (Police, fire, Coast Guard, Navy, and other branches of the service) snap to attention and salute was overwhelming.
    I always thought this poem was appropriate:

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    From The Poems of Dylan Thomas

    Great thread.

    Shawn M. Cecula
    Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2


    • #3
      Great topic....I think of the families and those left behind. They have always known this person was a hero, but now they live in it. I also think how that family now has a guardian angel sitting on their shoulders. Watching out for them, protecting them, seeing them through. It becomes crystal clear just how fragile life is, and how much we have to live for every day. That just saying "I love you" when you leave the house isn't enough...you have to show them, so should God's hand touch you and call you home that day, your loved ones will know. It also makes me think that all too often the community at large does not realize what we do or why we do it. But when one of us is taken the community sees first hand what it is all about. The brotherhood/sisterhood becomes clear to them. They begin to piece together why we do what we do for them. They take notice the next time they hear the siren or see the lights, they move out of the way the next time a blue light flashes in their rear view. As sad as it is, a LODD makes the people stand up and take notice of the rest of us. So in their own small way those taken are still making a difference and still helping us to save lives.

      May all those taken rest in peace and never be forgotten by those of us chosen to stay here to protect the rest.

      [This message has been edited by hctrouble25 (edited 06-20-2001).]


      • #4
        I think back to the very first time I was truly affected by a LODD......February 24 (I think) 1991.....Three members of Philadelphia Engine Company 11 died while fighting the now famous One Meridian Plaza High Rise fire. I went to the job with a friend after the second alarm was transmitted- and heard Engine 11 calling for help....To this day I can replay it over and over in my head. After that and to this day, any time a brother passes in a LODD, I am affected.

        But, the worst one that has affected me yet- October 29, 1994. Fireman Michael J. Delane of Rescue Company 1, Newark NJ Fire Department died while operating at Box 3241. I was (and still am) a buff at R1, and became good friends with "Elvis" as he was known; as well as Carl, George, Captain McGovern, and Steve. (and still am friends with them to this day) When I received a phone call from a friend, saying that a member of NFD R1 died, i got a real bad feeling in my stomach. And when I found out it was Elvis, I lost it. I cried my eyes out, and only my father (a firefighter as well) understood. Elvis was laid to rest on Nov. 2, 1994. RIDE ON BROTHER!

        "Loyalty above all else, except honor."


        • #5
          We lost a firefighter from my Dept several years ago, and everytime I see an LODD notice I feel for the fellow firefighters who have just lost a close friend. Until it happens to you I don't think you understand the full range of emotions that those folks are going through. It was one of the lowest times of my life, and still have sad memories when I see an LODD notice.


          • #6
            I think ArmyTruckCompany summed it up pretty well with the comment that only another firefighter can understand the pain. I think we all get a sinking feeling every time a brother dies in the line of duty. We just all have to remember that it could happen to anybody, and the ones it did happen to, keep their memories at heart and grow strong from them. Stay Safe. Peace.

            Newtown Fire Association
            Station 45


            • #7
              As I was reading the post about the brothers from FDNY my five year old asked me what I was doing, so I explained to her that I was reading about the firefighters who had died. She looked at me and asked "Three of your brothers died?". So the kids understand no matter how we try to shield them from it. She worries about me every time I go to work. Great post Capt.!!!


              • #8
                Great post Capt.G!

                I take pride in myself and our profession. It sometimes angers me when our brothers and sisters are killed in the line of duty by arsonists. The legal system doesn't always do justice to the memory of our fallen comrades. I believe that we all come together in other ways along with LODD.
                My heart goes out to all of my brothers and sisters in the brotherhood called firefighting.

                These statements and opinions are mine and do not represent the organization in which I am affiliated with or IAFF Local 3358


                • #9
                  At first I feel the pain for the loss of brother firefighters, then the wives, and girlfriends, the children, and the parents of the fallen.

                  We all know that most people (outside of the emergency services)don't understand that we truly are one very large family. I think that each and every one of us hurts whenever and wherever one of our own goes down.

                  As for me... I think of my own family. I look at my children while they are asleep, and then I hug and kiss my wife.

                  I truly don't dwell on, "this may be the last time I see my wife and kids" before I leave for the station. What's the point? I think in the back of our minds we accept that we may go down on the job... and then tuck it away and move on. Our wives do, or at least, mine does.

                  Eng. Co. 9

                  "In all of us there are heroes... speak to them and they will come forth."

                  "In order for us to achieve all that is demanded of us, we must regard ourselves as greater than we are."


                  • #10
                    i think it makes us all realize how dangerous our jobs are and it makes you become a little more cautious that day.i always get a sickening feeling while reading about LODD`s.it effects my wife also when she learns about it.


                    • #11
                      This is a great topic and I thank you for bringing it up. LODD's affect me in many ways. We are all one big family and I always feel the loss. I don't dwell too much on how dangerous this job can be, but I always start thinking that life is too short and you have to live each day to the fullest. Tell the ones that you love that you love them and do it often.

                      Glenn Ralston
                      Bay Ridge Vol. Fire Co.


                      • #12
                        A LODD feels like a freight train has hit you square in the chest. There is no other way to describe it. For a long time afterwards you are wracked with nightmares and agonizing pain that drains everything out of you. You can't sleep. You can't eat. You feel so empty and you cry an ocean of tears. Whenever you look into the haunted eyes of your fellow firefighters you see something that you don't ever want to see again. It's beyond awful.
                        Ever since my best friend died LOD I get sick to my stomach when I see LODD notices on this website, in magazines, or on TV. It hits me right in the heart. I know we put our lives on the line and it's no surprise that firefighters die but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with.
                        If it wasn't for the fact that all of my fellow firefighters pulled together and helped each other get through this thing, I'm sure a lot of us would have walked away and left the fire service. It's amazing how your brothers and sisters can heal your heart!
                        Probie Name: HurryUpMichelle!!


                        • #13
                          I have been dating Scott less than a year but I think I understand the bond he has with his "family". He's the typical "macho guy" and sometimes comes off looking like he doesn't care. But I've seen him fall apart when a fellow brother lost a child, and I've seen the look in his eyes when he talks about a brother who died in the line of duty 4 years ago.

                          I have become close with several of his brothers, partly because they are such passionate people. They greet me with a hug and treat me like a sister. I've always been a softy, but I don't think I ever cried for people I had never met before. I've had blood relatives that I didn't know very well pass on and it didn't affect me the way a LODD does. The girls I work with don't understand, and I'm not sure I know how to explain it to them. I'm proud and grateful to have been accepted by this tight family of caring people. Thank you and stay safe.


                          • #14
                            I write this reply after reading about yet another LODD. This time it was a member of the fire police in upstate NY. He was directing traffic wearing his orange vest and helmet when he was struck by an alleged drunk driver.

                            Every time I read about a LODD my first thought goes to the family (relatives and firefighters) It deeply saddens me that yet another group of people has been put in this position. We all realize the risks of what we do but that does not soften the blow at all for the people we leave behind. I lost an uncle to a LODD and I still think of him daily. I remember all of the good things he did to help others around him. I have to say that watching that Dateline on the 3 fallen FDNY brothers made my spine tingle. Especially when I heard the bagpipes.

                            That is why the firefighting family is so special to me. Where else can you walk into someone elses house and feel so welcomed by complete strangers? When tragedy strikes, firefighters band together to get through the initial shock of it all. It is something I never forgot as a kid and I try to carry on today.

                            Stay safe out there!

                            Never Forget 9-11-2001

                            Stay safe out there!

                            IACOJ Member


                            • #15
                              It makes you appreciate your firefighting family even more. I can't even imagine what it would be like to lose one of my brothers. It reminds you how awesome of a force we actually go up against.


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