Fallen emergency responders honored in Pittsford

Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 10:03 PM EDT
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PITTSFORD, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont Emergency Services Memorial Committee hosted its annual remembrance ceremony for fallen first responders over the weekend. Officials say they have been doing this for decades.

“It shows how deeply we respect and mourn those losses but also honor the families who sacrificed loved ones and service to the community,” Vt. Corrections Commissioner Nick Deml said.

Families and friends of fallen first responders came together at the Fire and Police Academy in Pittsford.

The ceremony included touching speeches and each family received a flower to remember their loved ones.

Deml says it’s valuable to bring emergency services communities together.

“It’s important that all the emergency services communities are brought together and can share in this because we really do tackle the work as a shared community,” said Deml.

Deml gives a reminder of how tough being a first responder can be.

“When first responders are interacting with individuals, they’re experiencing the worst day of their lives but that’s just another day at the job for a first responder and I think this really brings that home for everybody,” said Deml.

“Because all these people come give up their time to come here and pay homage,” said retired firefighter Edward Hopkins.

Hopkins looks back at his career and reminisces on how impactful it was to be a first responder.

A variety of different first responder agencies were at the ceremony including law enforcement, the correctional department, and fire and EMS.

“Well, I hope this constellation of community service providers can help to make our future a little brighter, make our communities a little safer,” said Deml.