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Thread: New York State Firefighter Killed; Pinned In Between Two Trucks

  1. #1
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    South West

    New York State Firefighter Killed; Pinned In Between Two Trucks

    Updated: 02-24-2004 10:43:24 AM

    New York State Firefighter Killed; Pinned In Between Two Trucks

    Courtesy of WIXT News

    An accident while fighting a fire in Tompkins County kills a volunteer firefighter --and leaves questions for investigators.

    Sheriff's deputies say 37-year old Bret Neff of Dryden worked for the Harford Fire Department. He was a passenger in the truck headed to the fire scene in the Town of Caroline around dinnertime Monday Night.

    When he arrived, he got out. Walked to the back of the truck. But the truck's emergency brake was not on. It rolled back. Neff was pinned.

    He was flown to a Pennsylvania hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

    The driver of the truck told police he accidentally released the emergency brake when he got out.

    The investigation into this accident continues today.

  2. #2
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    South West

    Hundreds honor late firefighter LODD

    Local News - Friday, February 27, 2004

    Hundreds honor late firefighter

    Journal Staff

    DRYDEN -- Bagpipes set a somber mood Thursday as a long line of emergency personnel slowly filed in and out of the Perkins Funeral Home where the family of Bret E. Neff mourned.

    Firefighters from four counties gathered to remember Neff, the late Harford Fire Department deputy chief, who died Monday evening. Neff, 37, a Dryden resident, was assisting to put out a trailer fire in Slaterville Springs when a Harford tanker truck rolled back and pinned him to a Slaterville Springs fire engine.

    Volunteer and professional firefighters from places like Ithaca, Varna, Newfield, Manlius and Aurora, as well as police and emergency medical personnel, gathered to show their support.

    "I was actually shocked by the amount of people who turned out," said Dryden Fire Chief Ron Flynn, who helped coordinate the firefighters. "I was very pleased with how everything turned out."

    Dressed in navy suits or other dress uniforms, the firefighters, led by a Dryden fire truck, marched through residential neighborhoods before stopping traffic on Main Street to cross the street near the funeral home.

    A small group of Harford volunteer firefighters and Neff family members were at the head of the parade. Others who knew Neff or had worked with him were not far behind.

    "It's been difficult," Slaterville Springs Fire Chief Doug White said of dealing with the death. "I was on the scene."

    The loss has been hard for members of White's department.

    "I can't put it into words," Slaterville Springs Deputy Chief Scott Ryan said of Neff's death. "It's devastating. We'll survive, but it's very hard."

    Some of the hundreds of firefighters, emergency medical personnel and police officers who gathered at the Dryden Fire Hall, 26 North St., where the procession started, never knew Neff but wanted to show support.

    "We're brothers," said Gene King Sr., a former chief with the Virgil Fire Department. "You might never know who they are, but we're all brothers."

    The line stretched outside the funeral home for more than a block as firefighters, police and emergency medical personnel waited to pay their respects.

    "It's an unfortunate accident for many of us," said Bruce Potter, assistant chief of the Truxton Fire Department. He added that he understood how close-knit a fire department can become.

    "We're a small department like Harford," Potter said. "We're a family at our fire station."

    Each person signed one of the three guest books at the funeral home before entering. A picture of Neff sat on a pillar outside the doorway. A line of firefighters from several departments stood at the entrance. As people walked through the parlor, some saluted the casket where Neff lay. Two honor guards, professional firefighters from Ithaca as well as other departments, stood at the head and foot of the casket. Every 10 to 15 minutes, a formal changing of the guard took place.

    "I think our presence here speaks volumes more than what we could say," said George C. Baker Jr., chaplain for the Chittenango Fire Department. "I think the family knows what we're thinking."

    Hugs and prayer may be better than words at this point, added Janet Lee, pastor of the Harmony United Methodist Church in Harford. She visited the Harford Fire Department station to offer her support.

    "There are no words you can say that makes it better," Lee said.

    A private funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. today. An honor guard of firefighters will be present outside the funeral home.

    KATE SCHLEE/Journal Staff
    Public service personnel wait to enter Perkins Funeral Home, Inc,. where Bret Neff's body lay. The procession swelled to over 200 people, who marched Thursday evening from Dryden Fire Department .

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