Phila. fallen firefighters honored with new rapid response truck

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Philadelphia Fire Department officials unveiled their brand new rapid response truck Saturday.

Philadelphia Fire Department officials unveiled their brand new rapid response truck Saturday.

But the story is not so much about the vehicle as it is about the brave souls in whose name the vehicle was dedicated.

The spirits and memories of two fallen heroes will live on. The names of Philadelphia Fire Lt. Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney are now etched into an artistic emblem on the side of a brand new rapid response vehicle for the volunteer community organization, the Philadelphia Second Alarmers.

Both firefighters were killed in a 5-alarm Kensington factory fire on April 9th.

"I feel very, very proud," said Diane Neary.

Grateful, yet emotional, Diane Neary broke down in tears after she was handed a brick from the scene of the fire that killed her husband Robert, now engraved with his name.

"We're talking about two men who were fighting a fire and didn't know if they were coming home or not; unfortunately they did not come home," said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

"It is a honor for my husband, because my husband stood bravely and proudly to fight fires and go everywhere that he needed to go," said Diane Neary.

"All these tributes are just an honor to Bob and Dan," said David Sweeney.

"We want to do something for the families to make their day a little easier because they have to live with this the rest of their lives," said Chief Greg Masi from the Philadelphia Second Alarmers.

This type of dedication is a new trend for the city of Philadelphia. It started in New York City after 9-11. The Second Alarmers wanted to bring the tradition to Philadelphia.

"Father, under your protection may those who use this vehicle reach their destination safely." A prayer of dedication and protection for the brave firefighters.

The new truck, paid for by donations, was christened and ceremoniously housed in the station.

The community is hoping the dedication will serve as two visible angels constantly protecting their brothers and sisters on the street.

"Wherever we go, they are with us to keep a watchful eye over all of our first responders," said Chief Masi.

The families of the fallen firefighters were also handed memorial portraits of both Lt. Neary and Firefighter Sweeney; a second visual to honor the heroes' lives and serve as a lasting tribute.

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philadelphia fire department, philadelphia, local/state, jennifer joyce
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