Local Firefighters Pay Tribute To the Fallen Ariz. Hotshots

Posted at: 07/07/2013 10:41 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News)-- Today, people in our area came together to remember the firefighters killed in the Arizona wildfire.

"Today we honor 19, who gave their life, to save others, to keep others safe from harm," David Mueller, Olmsted County Sheriff.

Fire departments and emergency personnel from across the area came to pay tribute to the 19 brave fire fighters who died in the line of duty.

"A death in the fire service, any death is tragic, but especially for fellow fire service members it's very tragic and hard to take," said Kris Jungels, Rochester Fire Department.

While thousands of miles away, these local fire fighters consider the Prescott Hotshot Fire Crew to be their brothers.

"Puts a hole in your stomach pretty quick, you feel it pretty hard. The fire service is a tight organization, whether it's wild land or structure guys, it's a great loss to the organization," said Steven Jurrens, Kasson Fire Department.

"Nineteen fireman read the names of the nineteen that were killed in action," said Dick Denny of the Rochester Bell of Honor.

The names read aloud, followed by a rose in memory of their lives.

"Honored to be here. I'm glad that there was an opportunity to recognize them here in Southeast Minnesota," said Jurrens.

Now thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost their loved ones.

"That's what it takes to get people through something like that is just a lot of support from family friends all over the country," said Dave Lombard, Rushford Fire Department.

"I hope that it provides them some level of comfort, knowing that we understand what they're going through and hope that they can get through it," said Jungels.

The Bell of Honor rung seven times in tribute of their sacrifice.

"God bless all of their families and all those who serve today and help us never to forget those who give their lives to keep all of us safe," said Mueller.

Today's tribute is being put on DVD and will be sent to the families of the 19 firefighters. The hope is it will give more support to the families affected.