Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Mass to honor firefighters

  1. #1
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,301

    Mass to honor firefighters

    Thursday, November 13, 2003

    Mass to honor firefighters

    EMS personnel also commended

    Kathleen A. Shaw
    T&G STAFF


    WORCESTER- Area firefighters and other emergency workers will gather at 10:15 a.m. Sunday at St. Paul's Cathedral, High and Chatham streets, for the sixth annual Mass for Firefighters and EMS Personnel.

    Bishop Daniel P. Reilly will be celebrant. Those gathered will pray for all who serve the community in the fire and EMS services and for those who have died.

    This will also serve as the fourth anniversary Mass for the six firefighters who died in the 1999 Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire and for those who died in New York City during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    Bishop Reilly will present five St. Florian awards to: retired Chief Roger Belhumeur of the Auburn Fire Department; Chief Gary Nestor of the Northbridge Fire Department; Firefighter Dale DiMeco of the Clinton Fire Department; the Warren Fire Department; and the Firefighter's Safety and Survival Seminar Committee of Worcester.

    St. Florian died a martyr during the reign of Diocletian in the last persecutions of the Roman Empire and is traditionally invoked for protection against dangers from fire and water.

    Chief Belhumeur, who retired this year after many years of service in Auburn, was one of the first chiefs to arrive to help the Worcester firefighters during the Worcester Cold Storage fire, and he continued to assist during the days that followed.

    Chief Nestor is being recognized for his work in establishing a professional fire department and EMT unit in Northbridge.

    Mr. DiMeco will be honored for rescuing four people whose boat capsized on South Meadow Pond last summer. He was off duty at the time of the rescue.

    The Warren Fire Department is being commended for its work in searching for the remains of Molly Anne Bish, who disappeared from the town beach at Comins Pond in Warren on June 27, 2000. Her remains were found last summer. The honor also emphasizes that firefighters do more for the community than fight fires; they also perform a variety of search and rescue operations.

    The Firefighter's Safety and Survival Seminary Committee is being recognized for developing a training seminar beginning in 2000. The seminars have served as a memorial for the firefighters who died in the 1999 fire. Nearly 2,000 firefighters from all over the United States have attended at least one of the seminars.

    http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dl...08/1008/NEWS02

  2. #2
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    South West
    Posts
    3,301

    Firefighters, EMTs thanked at Mass

    Monday, November 17, 2003

    Firefighters, EMTs thanked at Mass

    St. Florian awards presented

    Danielle M. Williamson
    T&G STAFF


    WORCESTER- The Rev. Lawrence J. Esposito told more than 100 firefighters and emergency medical technicians yesterday at St. Paul's Cathedral that certain job scenarios have made them feel as if they have just stepped into hell.

    "We felt it on Dec. 3, 1999, and the days, months and years that have followed," Rev. Esposito said of the fire in the former Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building that claimed the lives of six firefighters.

    After listing several other hellish scenarios that have affected firefighters and EMTs, including the nightclub fire at The Station in Rhode Island, Rev. Esposito drew attention to one of the positive sides of serving in an occupation that often involves putting one's life on the line.

    "There are some people who look on those who serve in these capacities as angels," he said in his homily at the sixth annual Mass for Firefighters and EMS Personnel.

    "They're just normal human beings, doing what God has told them to do," he continued.

    "When you go into a burning building, when you pull up to the scene of a horrific crash ... and you think that you have stepped into hell - remember deep in your heart that is not true," Rev. Esposito said.

    Family and friends of firefighters and EMS personnel nearly filled the cathedral to its capacity yesterday morning. A quarter of the occupants were the guests of honor.

    Bishop Daniel P. Reilly, who presided over the Mass, expressed his gratitude to the two groups, "who day in and day out are very often taken for granted."

    Still, Bishop Reilly said, "our cities and towns wouldn't be what they are without you."

    Near the end of the Mass, the bishop presented St. Florian awards to retired Chief Roger Belhumeur of the Auburn Fire Department; Chief Gary A. Nestor of the Northbridge Fire Department; Firefighter Dale A. DiMeco of the Clinton Fire Department; the Warren Fire Department; and the Firefighter's Safety and Survival Seminar Committee of Worcester.

    St. Florian is the patron saint of firefighters.

    Chief Belhumeur, who retired this year, was honored for being one of the first chiefs to arrive to help the Worcester firefighters during the Worcester Cold Storage fire. In addition, he was recognized for setting up a WPI internship program at the West Auburn substation, which has helped the manpower situation and response time in that part of town.

    Chief Nestor was honored for his work in establishing a professional fire department and EMT unit in Northbridge.

    Firefighter DiMeco was commended for rescuing four people - two who could not swim - whose boat capsized on South Meadow Pond in Clinton last summer. He was off duty at the time of the rescue.

    The Warren Fire Department was honored for its work in searching for the remains of teenager Molly Ann Bish. The honor emphasized another responsibility of fire departments - search and rescue operations.

    "You represent the best of firefighters and EMTs," said Bishop Reilly of those receiving awards.

    Bishop Reilly, who will retire once the pope names a new bishop, was also honored at the Mass.

    The Rev. Peter J. Scanlon noted that the bishop was a constant presence during and after the Worcester Cold Storage fire. He pointed out that he was the confirming bishop at the confirmations of children of Lt. Thomas E. Spencer and Firefighter Paul A. Brotherton.

    "We know that wasn't an accident," Rev. Scanlon said.

    Lts. James F. Lyons III, Timothy P. Jackson and Spencer, and Firefighters Jeremiah M. Lucey, Joseph T. McGuirk and Brotherton were the six men who died in the fire.

    Firefighter Frank P. Raffa gave Bishop Reilly a jacket with a firefighters' logo on it, which the bishop proudly draped over his green ceremonial robe.

    "Maybe that's what I can do when I retire - be an auxiliary firefighter," he said, smiling.


    http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dl...68/1008/NEWS02

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •