A group of Haverhill firefighters was in Colorado yesterday to remember three of their brothers who have died.
At the 26th annual IAFF Fallen Firefighter Memorial service in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the names of three Haverhill firefighters who died in the line of duty were added to a Wall of Honor. Also added to the wall were names of other fallen firefighters from the Merrimack Valley.
Haverhill’s Lt. Mark Young, who served on Engine 4 at the Bradford fire station, Deputy Chief Robert Buckley Jr., who served at the Water Street station, and firefighter David Turner, who served on Engine 1 at the High Street station, were among the 154 firefighters and emergency medical personnel from the United States and Canada honored at the ceremony, hosted by Colorado Springs Firefighters.
“These are the guys we worked with, lived with and fought fires with for over 10 years and we should be going out there to honor them,” said Haverhill firefighter and local union president Greg Roberts. “We should not forget the names of those who made a sacrifice by serving their communities.”
Haverhill’s fallen firefighters aren’t the only ones from this area whose names were added to the memorial this year. Harold Schaitberger, general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, said the firefighters and paramedics who were honored this year died in the line of duty of from duty-related diseases between June 1, 2011, and June 1, 2012. Some members who died prior to June 1, 2011, but were reported during the past year also were honored, he said.
Roberts said Young, Buckley and Turner are all considered to have died in the line of duty because they succumbed to occupational-related cancers.
“All three had to retire when they got sick and were no longer able to perform their duties,” Roberts said. “These are the first line of duty deaths we’ve had since 1990. These are regular line of duty deaths, and not regular passings.”