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Steven H. Pollard was alleged to obtain the official order confirming his promotion to a full-fledged New York Metropolis firefighter this week.
After a 12 months and a half as a probationary firefighter, the orange patch of a novice would have been changed on his helmet with a crimson patch bearing his ladder firm. A small change, maybe, however a signifier that Mr. Pollard absolutely belonged to the ranks of New York’s Bravest.
As an alternative Mr. Pollard, who died Sunday at age 30 after falling 50 ft from a Brooklyn overpass, was buried Friday afternoon. His helmet, with the patch he by no means bought to put on, was prominently displayed at his funeral. It was a potent image of a younger firefighter in the beginning of a promising profession when his life was minimize tragically brief.
As associates, household and colleagues mourned on the Good Shepherd Church within the Marine Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, Mr. Pollard’s helmet and coffin had been carried previous rows of firefighters in gown blues who lined block after block alongside the funeral route. They stood raptly at consideration on a chilly, windy January day, their white-gloved arms raised in salute.
All through the service, the helmet sat on a desk subsequent to the rostrum the place these gathered, together with Mayor Invoice de Blasio and Daniel A. Nigro, the New York Metropolis hearth commissioner, took turns celebrating Mr. Pollard’s bravery and honoring his life.
On the finish of the funeral, Mr. Pollard’s coffin, cloaked within the Fireplace Division’s flag, was carried to a hearth engine. His helmet was given to his father, who himself spent 32 years as a firefighter.
On Sunday, Mr. Pollard’s firm, Ladder 170 in Canarsie, responded to a two-car accident on the Belt Parkway’s Mill Basin Bridge in Brooklyn. The accident, which concerned one automotive that had flipped, was on the bridge’s westbound lanes. Mr. Pollard arrived on the eastbound aspect.
The edges of the bridge are separated by a two-foot hole surrounded by three-foot-high concrete limitations. When Mr. Pollard tried to cross the breach, he fell by way of.
On the evening he died, Mr. de Blasio mentioned, Mr. Pollard didn’t hesitate: “He noticed that somebody wanted assist, he rushed ahead, and in that instantaneous he gave his life.”
Timothy Klein, a fellow firefighter who was with Mr. Pollard the evening he died, grew emotional as he spoke Friday in regards to the younger man’s sacrifice.
“Steven Pollard died not pondering of himself, however making an attempt to assist others,” he mentioned, his voice breaking. “We misplaced a real hero that evening.”
All through the service, the audio system all famous that being a firefighter was Mr. Pollard’s childhood dream. It was a aim impressed in no small approach by his father, Ray.
“Steve wished nothing greater than to observe in his footsteps,” William Morch, a childhood pal, mentioned.
When Mr. Pollard lastly entered the Fireplace Academy, following not simply his father but additionally his older brother, an lively firefighter with 11 years of service, it was clear that he had discovered his calling.
Associates “started to note a brand new glow or mild” in Mr. Pollard’s eyes as he began his profession, Mr. Morch mentioned. “He had achieved his dream.”
Mr. Pollard labored arduous to pursue that aim. He had been given the nickname “Captain America” for his energy and his work ethic, and he put each to make use of throughout his time within the Fireplace Academy, which he graduated with excellent marks, Mr. Nigro mentioned.
Throughout his brief time as a firefighter, he was hard-working, inquisitive and devoted, Mr. Nigro and Mr. Klein mentioned.
“He labored so arduous for this profession to observe his father and his brother into the world’s best hearth division,” Mr. Nigro mentioned. “Bravery was in his blood.”
Mr. Pollard was the 1,151st New York Metropolis firefighter killed within the line of responsibility, officers mentioned.