Ron Baker started his career in the ems/fire service in 1973 when he joined the Colonie Fire Company in the Village of Colonie, NY. He was a high school teacher at the time but the expanding field of fire/rescue became his passion. Not soon after he was a part of the initial paramedic class in the Albany, NY region. In 1979 he left the teaching profession and was hired as the EMS Coordinator for the City of Troy, NY fire department. In 1991 was hired as the Deputy Director of Emergency Medical Services for the Town of Colonie, NY. He retired from the Town of Colonie in 2002. Thirty-nine years later he continues to be a member of the Colonie Fire Company, a NY State certified paramedic, and works as a part time state fire instructor for the New York State Office of Fire Prevention & Control.
Robert entered the federal service in 1989 working as NAS Weymouth, MA, NS Mayport, FL, NS Newport, RI, and MCRD Parris Island. Robert will always be remembered for his drive, attention to detail and dedication to duty. He never gave up hope that he would be cured as he ran a biathlon in March of this year and worked as a firefighter until his passing.
Robert made a great impact on our department and will be deeply missed. From your Brothers and Sisters of the Parris Island Fire Department you have left a void with your passing but you know you left it better than you found it.
Rest in Peace Bob.
Gerald Campbell started on the job with the Port Huron Fire Department on December 19, 1961. He retired as Assistant Chief in 1996 after 34 years of service. Jerry loved being able to help people on a daily basis, especially giving fire safety talks to children. He was a dedicated firefighter who enjoyed the camaraderie of working with his fellow brothers. I am so proud of my father’s service. He was, and is, my hero.
The Charleston 9 perished in the line of duty on 6/18/07. They lost their lives battling a fire at the Super Sofa Store on Savannah Hwy. in Charleston, S.C. This tragic loss was the biggest loss of firefighters since the 9/11 attacks. The Charleston 9 are thought of, missed, and remembered every day in some form or another. May they forever rest in peace.
My dad, Joe Wayne Cutrer, began his firefighter career at the early age of thirteen when he became a junior firefighter. After years of volunteering, in 1976 he became a full-time firefighter for Tangipahoa Parish Fire District #1, Amite, Louisiana where he worked until 1981 when he joined the City of Baton Rouge Fire Department. In 1985, he returned “home” to TPFD #1.
Among his many accomplishments as a 33 year veteran firefighter, he was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the American National Red Cross in 1979 and 1990, named Amite City’s Most Outstanding Citizen in 1979, honored by the Town of Amite for his bravery and community service in 1981, traveled to Ormond Beach, Florida to help scores of other firefighters control raging forest fires, and named Amite Kiwanis Club Career Firefighter of the Year in 1999.
Besides being a firefighter and a certified EMT, from 1973 to his tragic and untimely accidental death on August 29, 2002 he owned and operated his own electrical business. In my dad’s spare time, he loved to fish and hunt.
My dad gave himself to others every day. Those who knew him loved him for his sharp sense of humor, outgoing personality, and kind heart. He was truly “one of a kind” and not only one of America’s bravest, but also without a doubt one of Amite’s finest.
He is and will forever be missed by countless family and friends. But most of all by his wife, one and only grandchild (Garrett Wayne) he never knew, son-in-law, and myself.
A Canadian citizen in a family of firefighters, Grant went to New Paltz, NY at the height of Viet Nam and enlisted after the recruiter said “Son, most people are going the other direction nowadays.” Grant served two tours in Nam on the U.S.S. Constitution. He became a citizen of the United States, married me, and we had 25 awesome years together before his death January 23, 2005. He is survived by his wife Carline, sister Gail, and niece Kelly. We love and miss you, my love.
Firefighter for the Columbia-Martinez FD in GA. Passionate about his position as a firefighter and paramedic, Jordan strives to be the best at everything he undertakes, spending much time between work, teaching classes and taking tests. As his family we couldn’t be more proud of his strength of character, integrity and his love for helping others. He is pictured here with two of the reasons he is doing what he does: his beloved niece and daughter.
Frank Dombrowski, born and raised in Detroit, MI. A Detroit firefighter for 20 years, brother-in-law nearly five, Frank is one of the most caring and helpful guys I know. I’ve seen him spend an entire day helping out people he hardly knew and sacrificing his free time to do so, above and beyond what he does for Detroit citizens nearly every day. So proud to have him as a friend and relative!
Our beloved grandfather and friend. A man of few words; yet, your actions spoke volumes. Avid fisherman, lover of nature, giver of silly nicknames. Exquisite cook – known for your fajitas, fried catfish, and Firehouse Beans. You had the most gentle and unique sense of humor – and the tiniest toenails known to man. In your wood shop, you built us anything we could dream up. You always brought us back Starbursts from the grocery store. If a Western was playing, that’s what was on the TV! Favorite actors: Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Henry Fonda. Never spoke an unkind word. Appreciated the simple things. Loved us beyond measure. Our hero.
Your life was an inspiration. You are always with us. You taught us how to live.
What a gift.
- Jessa, Justin & Meagan
Dr. Christine Fusillo (Sept. 4, 1950 – Sept. 26, 2010) Director of Pediatric Allergy at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Westchester County Medical Center; Chief of Pediatric Allergy at New York Medical College; Clinical Professor of Allergy and Immunology; Private Practice in Westchester County, NY; Rated among the “Top Doctors” in America, New York, and The Hudson Valley for more than a decade by various publications including Castle Connelly and New York Magazine. In 2011, Manhattanville College created the “Dr. Christine Fusillo Memorial Scholarship” in Christine’s memory.
“As the three of us sat down to write something to summarize our mom’s life, an anecdote to show you how much she meant to us, we listed her qualities. Everything came back to love. There is no story for a lifetime of love. It was in her every breath, a kind word, an encouraging smile, a hug for no particular reason. It was the way she made you feel when she walked in the door, the way she spent hours on the phone with a patient or friend. It was her ability to make everyone feel special, unique, and important. Her love was contagious and what a difference that has made in all our lives. She inspired people to hope more for themselves. No matter how long you knew her, you have felt her love, her passion, and it will stay with you forever.”
– Brian, Katie, and Maureen O’Boyle: Eulogy for their mother, 10/1/10
My father served with the Berwyn Fire Department starting in 1941, and was then drafted for World War II where he served with the Army Air Forces. Upon returning from the war my dad returned to the rank of Firefighter, eventually rising though the ranks of Engineer, Lieutenant, and than Captain. Dad retired in 1977 with 36 years of service. My dad was the person I looked up to and the person I wanted to emulate when I grew up. I am very proud to have rose through the same ranks with the Berwyn Fire Department and made it to the same position that my dad did (Shift Commander), though the position name has changed to Deputy Chief.
Jim is living his dream. Known by his friends as “the one who always has your back” he carries this loyalty and dedication to the firehouse every day. He is passionate about the things he loves….his career and the people he serves, his family and friends. He is the consummate firefighter.
Bob Groszewski Sr. started his fire service career in 1962 as a volunteer in Independence Hill (Merrillville, IN). In 1967 he was appointed to the Calumet City, IL Fire Department where he served 28 years, retiring as an Engineer. One of Bob’s favorite stories was how he almost missed his first day as a rookie due to the Great Chicago Blizzard, and had to hitch rides on snow plows and cop cars to get there. Even after retiring, Bob’s fire service interest never waned as he would buff local jobs, and in his travels never missed an opportunity to find a firehouse and have “coffee with the guys”. Bob’s legacy lives on in his son, a District Chief in Gary, IN, as well as two grandsons now entering the fire service. I miss you Dad, and can’t wait to see you again at “The Big House in the Sky”
I donated in honor and support of my brother, David Handley, Detroit Firefighter Engine 35.
Previously, Kevin Harrison worked for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge. Prior to his employment with the DEA, Kevin worked as a trooper for the Louisiana State Police, from 1979-1986. In 1984, he was the Chief Deputy at Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana. Kevin says his most rewarding work to date was heading a team of rescuers in the aftermath of Katrina for which he received the United States Attorney General Award, DEA Administrator’s Award and was a finalist for the Service to America Medal.
In 1979 he was appointed to the FDNY following his father, Captain Ed Higgins and older brother Michael. Tim served his entire career in Brooklyn, NY. He was assigned to Engine-280, Ladder-132, Rescue Company-2 and upon promotion to Lieutenant, to Squad-252. During his career he was decorated many times for initiative and bravery. He was known as a “fixer,” and a “hard charger.”
On September 11, 2001 he gave his life in the line of duty while searching for victims in Tower Number 2 of The World Trade Center.
He is survived by his wife, Caren and their three children, Christopher, Catie, and Cody; his mother, Joan, his father, Edward, retired FDNY Captain; his sister Maureen; FDNY brothers FF Michael, FF Joseph, Captain, Robert and brother Matthew, Lieutenant NYPD.
Jason is a full time firefighter with the DAFD. He is very dedicated to serving his community. He also is a member of the Washtenaw County Technical Rescue Team. We are so proud of him and his accomplishments. We realize the sacrifice he makes everyday to be in such a demanding career. He will always have the love of his family. — Nikki, Justin, Amber and Jordan.
William A. Hudson started on the job on August 3, 1953. He retired in 2000 as Battalion Chief after 38 years of service. A Dedicated Firefighter, Husband, Father, and Papa. William was a fun loving, caring man who many called friend. He took pride in his work and was proud to be a Detroit Firefighter. Lung Cancer took his life on Sept 21, 2003 but his wisdom, and his memories live on with his children, grandchildren and his great grandchildren. He is deeply missed by his family and friends.
Mike Lucas has been a firefighter/paramedic since 1994. He has been a full-time firefighter at Beachwood Fire Department, Local 2388, since 99’ and part-time firefighter at Fairlawn Fire Department, local 4164, since 94’. He served as union president for Beachwood FD for 4 years and is a member of their honor guard. He has been a certified HazMat tech since 1997. He was a member of the Hillcrest Technical Rescue Team from 2001-12. He also served in the US Army as an M-1 Tank Gunner from 1987-90’, and re-activated for Desert Storm in 91’. Mike currently lives in Copley, Ohio with his wife Deborah and their three dogs. He enjoys cooking vegan food, reading books, biking and volunteering for animal welfare groups.
Michael joined the DFD in April 1987. His father is a retired fire chief of the DFD and his brother is still on the DFD. Mike was an incredible man, a forever type of friend and one hell of a firefighter. He also was on the DFD clown team. He built and rode his mini bike in the Thanksgiving parade every year. He was a good samartian, his own words, and believed in helping everybody and anybody. Mike passed away suddenly on October 8th, 2006. I miss him more than anyone would ever realize, but as Mike did, I believe in God and really believe if God needs any help Mike is right there saying ” I can help ya out”.. The DFD lost a true brother that day and many others lost much more. He wasn’t here for a long time, but a good time!!!
Lt. Dennis Mojica joined the FDNY on September 29, 1973. During his career, he worked in Engine 290, Ladder 120 and Rescue 2 as a fireman. When he was promoted, he was assigned to Ladder 127 and made the Supreme Sacrifice with Rescue Co. 1 at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. He was also a member of New York’s Urban Search and Rescue Team. In 1998, while covering in Rescue 2, he helped save a civilian from certain death at a building collapse in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn. He was awarded a medal of valor for his actions. Dennis was a huge inspiration to everyone around him and is terribly missed by all.
Lanty George Molloy, Jr., was born in San Francisco CA, 1962 – Born to very proud Irish parents, Lanty & Blanid Molloy, descendants from County Donegal, Ireland. He is the second of eight children. His parents own and operate Historical Old Molloy’s Tavern in Colma, a Historical Landmark. He became a firefighter at the age of 23 and has been with the Millbrae Department ever since. He has been married for 21 years and has five children. He is the most honorable man we know. He is our hero.
Anthony Polk was a Native American firefighter, who died June 8 while fighting the Montezuma fire. He was a firefighter for the Quechan tribe and a resident of Yuma, AZ. He would have been 31 on his birthday, June 22, this year. He died June 8th in a one-vehicle accident while on assignment at the Montezuma Fire.
“Wherever life walks…there is a firefighter offering help and protection. I grew up in NY and with great Celticpride I watched firefighters, of the same history, run into burning buildings and distinguish themselves as thebackbone of a great city and state. Our history runs deep, as it does in cities such as Detroit. Now I am a daughter of the west and my adopted family goes back to the dawn of the canyons of the great Navajo Nation. At this very moment firefighters are working tirelessly in New Mexico, CO and Arizona as they battle the windsand harsh environment of 1000′s of acres of land, where water is nill and mostly void. An environment battling for life. ” – Jenny Pond
Dave Raley was born and raised near Patton Park on Vernor Highway on Detroit’s south side. He joined the Army at 17, serving as an Artilleryman with the 25th Infantry Division. He returned home and joined the Detroit Fire Department in 1966, serving on Detroit’s southwest side with several different companies including Squad 3, Ladder 8, Ladder 22, Engine 17, and Engine 48. He retired in 1991 as a Lieutenant after 25 years of service.
My husband, Lewis Roelans, is a Battalion Chief for the Detroit Fire Department. He is the love of my life and my hero. One of his favorite sayings is “everything pertains.” It’s how he lives his life and it’s how he approaches his job, his calling. When he arrives at a fire scene, the scene of an accident, or an explosion at a factory, it’s his job to make important decisions quickly. Amid the chaos of whatever situation he may be confronting at that moment he has to keep a cool head and make the right decisions the first time. He says, “there are no second chances when people’s lives are on the line.”
Early on in his career he was trapped in a fire and nearly lost his life. I was upset and I told him “I know other people need you, but I need you too.” He told me then, that when he is fighting a fire, he “can never give less than everything.” Detroit experiences so many fires, and it is said that most of them are arson, that it’s rare to have a “legitimate” fire. The reality of having firefighters injured because of arson is appalling.
I can live with the fact that my husband puts his own life on the line to save others. But, to know he is risking his life for any other reason than an accidental fire, I can never accept that thought. When he retires early next year he will have served on the Detroit Fire Dept. for nearly 40 years. He has truly given “everything” every day of those 40 years and I couldn’t be more proud of him.
In Memory of Shawn Sloan, 4-year member of North Providence Fire Department. Shawn was an amazing firefighter, husband, and father to two daughters. He dedicated most of his life to becoming the best firefighter he could be. Shawn played the snare drum for the Rhode Island Professional Firefighters’ Pipe and Drum band. He is truly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him.
I would like to Honor The Men and Women of the Tully, NY Volunteer Fire Department, as well as the nearly 60 other area Fire & Rescue responders from 9 area fire companies including Otisco, NY; Apulia NY; Preble, NY; and LaFayette, NY, for risking their lives to help control and put out the two fires that destroyed my childhood home in 1990 and 1991 when I was 10 years old. Their efforts to salvage not only our home but our belongings will never be forgotten. They will always be my heroes!
Information to come.
Firefighter, Engine 47, Ladder 30 – City of Detroit Fire Department.
Information to come.