Las Vegas Sun

August 24, 2017

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Firefighters gather to remember fallen comrades


Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun

Boulder City firefighters stand at attention in memory of fallen comrades Sunday during the annual National Fallen Firefighters Day of Remembrance held at the Boulder City Fire Station.


Boulder City Chief Kevin Nicholson pauses while speaking in memory of firefighters Sunday during the annual National Fallen Firefighters Day of Remembrance held at the Boulder City Fire Station. Launch slideshow »

For one minute Sunday morning, the Boulder City Fire Station alarm wailed and no one came running.

Fire trucks remained parked and firefighters bowed their heads and stood still with family, friends and community members to honor their peers who lost their lives while responding to similar alarms.

The warning siren sounded as a local tribute during a national day of remembrance for fallen firefighters.

Firefighters from all around the country gathered in Emmitsburg, Md., on Sunday for the 28th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. The ceremony began at 9 a.m. in Boulder City to coincide with the East Coast event that started at noon.

Although Boulder City hasn’t lost a firefighter in the line of duty, Chief Kevin Nicholson said the department wanted to honor everyone who served the city and pay tribute to all who answer the call anywhere.

“The significance of that is not lost on anyone. We’ve been blessed that we haven’t lost anyone,” he said. “We wanted to honor all our brothers and sisters.”

This was the first year Boulder City held a public event for the national day of remembrance. It gave the department a chance to open the doors and the public in to see what the firefighters do, Nicholson said.

The Boulder City Firefighters Association organized the event, which included a pancake breakfast, in part to repay the community for its support of the department, firefighter and paramedic Bill Wilson said.

Many of the firefighters started their careers back east where community participation is a long-standing tradition, he said.

“We wanted to have that atmosphere and this is the perfect place for that because everyone knows everyone,” he said.

The satisfaction in a sometimes death-defying career comes from saving other people’s lives and in knowing the work means something, Wilson said.

“You get to make a difference,” he said. “You get to help people that you know and love.”

Wilson said the association would host the event again next year.

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