SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — On February 3rd, 1939, the Syracuse Fire Department experienced the deadliest day in their 145 year history. On that day, the Collins Block building caught fire and trapped several firefighters in the havoc. Nine firefighters passed as a result of the fire and ever since then the SFD has held a memorial service every year for not just those on Collins Block, but every brave firefighter who lost their lives protecting Syracuse.
The past two years have been subject to an online ceremony due to the pandemic, but this year they were able to hold it at Firefighters Memorial Park like usual. However, due to the sub-zero temperatures and inclement weather the ceremony was abbreviated. Despite the shortened ceremony the department still feels the importance and effects of this day.
“We strive everyday not to injury or hurt any of our firefighters and we pray that we never add another name to that list” said Fire Chief Michael Monds. “The courage and bravery that those men showed when they perished in the line of duty so a day like today international makes us remember them and they deserve that.” He continued.
While the weather was a factor, you would be hard pressed to find a single firefighter complaining about it.
“The least we can do to honor their memory is stand out in the cold for a little while.” said Captain Matt Craner, who was front and center at the ceremony.
The captain acknowledged the dangers of the profession and risk of the firefighters, but re-enforces that this is nothing if it means saving a life. The department will celebrate 146 years in service during the month of April and will continue to service the Syracuse community for as many years as they can.