RFD honors fallen firefighters

(ABC 6 News) – 79 firefighters died in the line of duty in 2022. Members of the Rochester Fire Department gathered Sunday to honor those men and women who so bravely gave their lives to keep their communities safe.

In the early days of the fire service, the fire bell was used to call firefighters to the station, to warn them of an emergency, or to signal the end of their shift. When a firefighter died in the line of duty a special sequence of five bells was rung to honor them.

“The best thing I can talk about is the never forget. You hear that in the fire service, you hear that in the movies, “We never forget” and we don’t. And that’s the reason why is cause that ultimate sacrifice that taught us something. They laid down their lives to save someone or something,” Captain Caleb Feine with RFD.

Captain Feine says fighting fires is more dangerous than ever before.

“You look at the fires the car accidents the things we typically respond to, but there’s a lot of hidden dangers as well. There’s a lot of emotional wellness that we have to worry about, there’s cancer prevention, lot of carcinogen exposures, cardiac health as well,” said Capt. Fine.

RFD has lost four firefighters in the line of duty in its over 100-year history. Peter Mackey, Ambrose Riley, Stanley O’Brien, and Otis Ondler.

For more information about National Firefighter Memorial Weekend click here.