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Thread: Hundreds say farewell to firefighter, friend

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Hundreds say farewell to firefighter, friend

    Hundreds say farewell to firefighter, friend

    By MICHELE CANTY
    Daily Record/Sunday News
    Wednesday, December 22, 2004

    Deborah Caldwell stroked her husband's cheek as she looked down at Herbert "Herbie" C. Caldwell in his casket.

    He was the love of her life and the father of her children. He was her hero. Their love and his career as a firefighter had lasted more than two decades.

    She thought he looked handsome in his dress, dark blue firefighter's uniform. Perched on a blanket near his feet was the hat he'd worn on many fire calls.

    The 49-year-old died Friday while rushing to a fire call in Newberry Township. Authorities later discovered Herbie Caldwell died from an aneurysm in his chest, a condition he had had surgery for years ago.

    The main room of Parthemore Funeral Home in New Cumberland swelled with people who came to a service to celebrate his life, including the firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians and others who answered the calls with him when emergencies happened.

    Herbie Caldwell had been in fire service for 35 years with such companies as Newberry, Fairview, Citizens Fire Co. of Lemoyne, Wormleysburg and New Cumberland.

    Before the service, many went up to hug his wife and offer their condolences. Deborah Caldwell accepted their comforting embraces, and thanked them for coming.

    Minutes later, the funeral director tapped her on the shoulder to tell her they needed to close the casket.

    It was time to say goodbye.

    Deborah Caldwell whispered to her husband, then brushed her lips over his.

    As she walked to her seat, a curtain from the funeral home closed in front of her husband.

    She looked back at him lovingly, before sitting down.

    When she did, her friends and family surrounded her with a human blanket of support.

    When his casket reappeared, it was draped with an American flag.

    During his service, his family talked about his infectious laugh and ability to make people smile.

    They told the group about how much of giving person Herbie Caldwell was, and how proud they were to have known him.

    Most of all, his relatives told the crowd to support each other in their grief, but also to be there for Deborah, and the couple's three sons, Herbert C. IV, Bradley and Brandon. The service ended with a prayer for him and for his family

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Caldwell, III, Herbert C. "Herbie"

    Age: 49
    Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion
    Rank: Firefighter
    Nature of Death: Heart Attack
    Classification: Volunteer
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 12/17/2004
    Duty Type: Responding
    Incident Time: 17:00
    Activity Type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
    Death Date: 12/17/2004
    Fixed Prop. Use: Street/Road

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Newberry Township Fire Department
    1245 York Haven Road
    Etters , Pennsylvania 17370
    Chief: Brian Cardasso

    Final Summary:
    Firefighter Caldwell and a passenger were responding in Firefighter Caldwell's personal vehicle to a report of smoke in a residence. As they drove, Firefighter Caldwell began to cough up blood. He pulled the car to the side of the road, and the passenger summoned assistance using a fire department radio. Despite efforts at the scene, in transit, and at the hospital, Firefighter Caldwell died. Firefighter Caldwell suffered from a thoracic aneurysm, the failure of a blood vessel.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    Fund will be established for the family c/o Newberry Township Fire Department, 1245 York Haven Road, Etters, PA 17139

    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/application...eath_year=2004

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