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Remembering fallen firefighters

By Julia Ferrini


Firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty were honored Saturday at Pembroke Town Park as part of the four-day Cost of Freedom event held in Pembroke. Genesee County Fire Coordinator Timothy Yaeger applauded those men and women of courage who give unselfishly in aid of others and remembered those who have lost their lives.

Good, reliable firefighting equipment is of course essential. And there are times when that equipment has just as much of a story to tell as those who fight the fires. In this case, it is South Byron’s Rescue 88 vehicle.

“Rescue 88 was just about brand new with the Floral Park Fire Department in Long Island,” Scott Blossom said. “This vehicle was there, on that day, at ground zero.”

The Long Island Fire Department was retiring this truck out of service when South Byron Fire Department was looking to add an ambulance to its inventory.

“This truck was donated. All we had to do was go pick it up,” the Assistant Chief of South Byron Fire Department said. 

Not only did this truck serve New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, this vehicle was also used to bring a life into the world.

“Floral Park (Fire Department) has this neat tradition. They place a stork sticker, with a pink or blue blanket, on their rescue vehicle if a child was born in the ambulance,” Blossom said. “I often wonder how long after 9/11 that baby girl was born in this vehicle.

“Oftentimes, ambulances are on a scene because someone has left this world,” Blossom continued. “I thought it was neat that this one was also used to bring someone into this world.”

In addition to the stork emblem, the ambulance also has an insignia of the badge of one of the Floral Park paramedics who lost his life Sept. 11.

“We’ve had this ambulance for about four or five years now. She’s finally coming up on 50,000 miles,” Blossom said. “She’s a special girl for us.”




Scott Blossom

Julia, I located the information on the paramedic memorialized on Rescue 88.

1st Lt. of The Reliance Engine Company #2 of the Floral Park Fire Department, Nassau County, New York, Keith Fairben, EMT-Paramedic, 24 years old.

Worked out of New York Presbyterian Hospital and was on scene within minutes of the first plane to hit the towers.…

May Keith, and everyone we lost on September 11, 2001, forever rest in peace and tranquility. All went straight into Heaven, they all already walked through Hell on that day.

Jun 15, 2014, 2:07pm Permalink
Kyle Couchman

Amen Scott.....

Having been a witness to what happened that day. And also losing my best friend from my Navy days ( God Bless you Steve Miner ) who couldn't live with what he saw as a firefighter that day and ended his life on Sept 11th 2003. I lend my own prayers to yours for Keith. And every soul that was touched by that day.

Jun 16, 2014, 10:22am Permalink
Scott Blossom

Kyle, sorry to hear about our shipmate, I was an AE2 & my wife was an OS3 Sadly he was not the only one who had trouble coping. There are many others who still today are in great pain. And they still need our support. The trauma still lingers on.

Julia, the pleasure was all mine.

Jun 16, 2014, 6:19pm Permalink
Kyle Couchman

Well I was a GMG3, and Steve was a HT2 both on the USS Fulton til it was retired. Its a long story not for here but we both were too upclose and personal for the whole thing. I compartmentalize easier than most. But he didn't really share much and it was a surprise to all.

Amazing how one day can have such traumatic and lasting effects.... *

Jun 16, 2014, 6:58pm Permalink

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