The one-year anniversary of Toledo Fire Pvts. James “Jamie” Dickman and Stephen Machcinski’s deaths was marked today with a somber public ceremony and a private memorial service, reports The Toledo Blade.
Family, friends, and fellow firefighters packed The Historic Church of Saint Peter for the private service at 3 p.m. Scores of firefighters entered the church with heads bowed, hats off. Many wore red ribbons pinned to their chests or black bands over their badges.
Outside the church, the greetings were solemn — firm handshakes and tight embraces. Toledo Fire Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld, department spokesman, said he expected turnout from fire stations across Northwest Ohio.
“I hope we’re full and overflowing,” he said before the private event.
He said Toledo Fire was fortunate that other departments stepped up to support them over the last year.
“It took a load off of us that was so important,” he said.
Battalion Chief John Kaminski asked the Toledo community to observe a moment of silence at 3:03 p.m., the time of the first MayDay transmission from the deadly fire at 528 Magnolia Street.
“It’s a poignant and emotional moment,” Lieutenant Herzfeld said, recalling the MayDay call. “When you hear it over the radio it’s absolutely gut-wrenching.”
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