Fitting Farewell for Fallen Heroes

An honorable salute to the fallen in Houston

 

 
 
 

A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P | | Friday, June 7, 2013


The Houston Fire Department and EMS agencies from around the country paid a final tribute and salute to their fallen colleagues on Wednesday.  What accompanies in a photo galley of some poignant moments in the procession.  

The use of Station 51 and Station 68 apparatus (Ambulances,  EMS Squads, Engines,  Ladders and Rescue Units), and the compelling accompaniment by the Houston Fire Department Pipes and Drums added special significance to the somber ceremony because Houston Fire Department is a full service EMS-Fire-Rescue agency.

Reflections on Houston’s Fatal Friday

As we approach EMS WEEK and the National EMS Memorial Service in Colorado Springs, these images are a reminder of the hazards of our profession and those we lost in the collapse of a heavily involved structure fire last Friday during heroic search and rescue operations for reported trapped civilians.


Matthew Renaud
Captain EMT
Age 35
Engine 51
Started at HFD in October of 2001


Robert Bebee
Engineer Operator EMT
Age 41
Engine 51
Started at HFD in August of 2001


Robert Garner
Firefighter EMT
Age 29
Engine 68
Started at HFD in October 2010


Anne Sullivan
Probationary Firefighter EMT
Age 24
Engine 68
Started at HFD in April2013

Also, many have written and asked for the quote by Jeff Caynon, President of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association, at the memorial service. He quoted the words used by Shawnee War Chief Tecumseh in giving advice to his son on how to live his life to sum up what he feels is a code by which all firefighters live1

It’s provided here in response to your request.


“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.

Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.

Love your life, perfect your life, and beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.

Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place.

Show respect to all people and bow to none.

When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again.

In a different way, sing your death song and die like a hero going home."


Reference
1)    http://www.indigenouspeople.net/tecumseh.htm

 




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Related Topics: News, Houston Southwest Inn Fire

 
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A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P, has a background as an EMS director and EMS operations director. He specializes in MCI management.

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