Posted: Oct 4, 2009 7:06 PM by Matt Stafford
Lt. Mike Smaldino with the Colorado Springs Fire Department says, “Even though they’re not part of our department, we still feel the loss just the same. It's just like losing one from sitting right next to you.”
Sunday at the 28th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, four Colorado firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2008 were remembered.
Along with Colorado’s four fallen firefighters, 98 men and five women were memorialized.
Governor Bill Ritter ordered all flags at half-staff Sunday to observe the service.
Capt. Shane Stewart of the Ault Pierce Fire Protection District died February 23, 2008 while responding to an emergency medical call.
Then, April 15th, 2008, Chief Terry DeVore and firefighter John Schwartz Jr. of the Olney Springs Volunteer Fire Department, and pilot Gert Maraias of Sterling, all died while battling the Ordway wildfire.
“This is a chance for their families to go to a memorial service and it kind of helps with the closure,” Lt. Smaldino says.
It's also a time firefighters across the country reflect on their job and their colleagues.
Smaldino explains, “You just got to take a second, sit back and it does remind you that this is dangerous work.”
In remembrance, flags will fly at half staff here at Colorado Springs station eight and around the country.