Posted at: 01/21/2013 8:40 PM
Updated at: 01/21/2013 9:15 PM
By: Robin De Wind
The Rochester Police Department and the Rochester Fire Department are battling on the ice, all for a good cause.
The Hometown Heroes game will benefit three local non-profits, including the families of the fallen West Webster firefighters who were murdered in the Christmas Eve ambush on Lake Road.
The main event was a rare Monday afternoon game for the Amerks who hosted the Hamilton Bulldogs, but after the game, members of the Rochester Police Department and the Rochester Fire Department took to the ice.
While both sides wanted to win, all of the men on the ice are ultimately on the same team. The departments play each other occasionally and use the game as a fundraiser. The match up Monday had more meaning.
Both the Rochester Police Department and the Rochester Fire Department were passing the boot in the stands, collecting money for the families of the fallen West Webster firefighters. Part of the proceeds from the game will also benefit the Emerald Society and the Rochester Police Foundation.
The promotional tribute for the RPD and RFD was planned before the season, but the first responders from the West Webster Fire Department became part of the event following the December tragedy.
Jim Deisenroth, Chief, West Webster Fire Department, said, “Being that we are volunteers, there is not a pension to fall back on. The support we've gotten from the community, it's been overwhelming at times.”
Ray Palacios, RFD, said, “We have a lot of retired guys that came out for this, and it goes to show you the brotherhood they offer their support for the guys killed in the line of duty. That's the thing about the fire department, the brotherhood you show your badge and a brother will pull you out, that’s how it is.”
Sgt Ralph Montinarelli, RPD, said, “The tragic events of Christmas Eve, we decided why not benefit those that lost their lives in that event, it work out in timing.”
The Amerks honored the memory of the fallen firefighters by wearing a patch, a West Webster Fire Department patch.