Bagpipers and drummers are led in to the Last Alarm memorial service at SeaGate Convention Centre for Toledo firefighters Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman.
Police officers and firefighters always have had a difference of opinion about how much each group works or how easy each others’ job is (“Fallen heroes,” editorial, Jan. 28).
Firefighters say cops spend their day eating doughnuts and cruising. Cops say firefighters spend their day playing table tennis and watching TV.
But even though we kid each other, we still have a mutual respect for each other’s job. We know that things can and do go wrong from time to time.
I am praying for the two Toledo firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting their community. Both the fire and police departments feel loss and helplessness.
Editor’s note: The writer is a retired Toledo Police Department sergeant.
Thank responders by paying forward
For six years, my daughter has had to call fire and rescue paramedics multiple times. The paramedics have been professional, kind, compassionate, and patient. They treat my daughter as though she were their sister or daughter.
I often have wondered how I could thank them. I was inspired by Jamie Armstrong of Holland, who delivered food, and suggested others do the same, to families of local firefighters (“Nation shows support for Toledo’s grief,” Jan. 28).
My family will sponsor a monthly Mass on behalf of firefighters and police officers, and pray for their safety. The first Mass will be at our parish, St. Martin de Porres Church, and some will be at Historic Church of St. Patrick.
Prayer is the greatest gift we can give our heroes who put their lives on the line for us. God bless the souls of James Dickman and Stephen Machcinski. May they never be forgotten.
West Central Avenue
Firefighters, not funds, important
Why was it necessary for The Blade to list, dollar by dollar, all of the money that might be given to the families of the two fallen Toledo firefighters (“Many funds will support families of the fallen; Aid ranges from help for funerals to tuition,” Jan. 29)?
Not every surviving family receives this compensation. Sometimes it takes families years to receive any money, because investigations are done, witness statements are taken, and paperwork is filed. I know survivors who have waited four years or more for payment, while trying to raise children.
The life of the wife of a firefighter killed in the line of duty is no walk in the park. Any money received is small compensation for the life given.
The people in our area have opened their hearts to the families of the fallen firefighters and shown great compassion. It is no one’s business how much money they were given for the lives of their loved ones, when all they want is to have the firefighter walk back through their doors.
My husband, Gary Studer, a Whitehouse fire captain, full-time firefighter, and paramedic, passed away in 2008. I would give all of the blood in my body and every penny I have to have Gary walk back through my door and say: “It was a rough day, but I saved some lives.”
Memorial service nicely reported
Thanks to The Blade’s writers who described the memorial service for the two firefighters who died in the line of duty (“‘Last Alarm’ rings for fallen heroes; Thousands pack SeaGate Centre to pay their final respects,” Jan. 31).
Because the writers had the gift of the pen, I felt that I was present when I couldn’t be.