Wichita firefighters support families of fallen firefighters

WICHITA, Kansas – Firefighters in Wichita mourn the tragic death of two Kansas City firefights.

Wichita Fire Marshal, Brad Crisp, says it impacts families the most.

“There’s all kinds of elements to the line of duty death that most people don’t ever think about,” said Crisp.

His heart goes out to the friends and families of the fallen firefighters in Kansas City, knowing this kind of tragedy hits all firefighters hard.

“The fire department is kind of like a second family because we live together, we sleep together, we eat together, we work together, we go to these emergencies and we have each other’s back and so that’s hard,” Crisp said.

Often honor guards from many fire departments will go to the scene of tragedy to show their support.

“If there’s going to be funeral services where there’s going to be fire department honors, we’ll probably send some representatives of our fire department honor guard up there to represent the Wichita Fire Department,” Crisp said.

Wichita Honor Guard member and retired fire fighter, David Wilson, says geography doesn’t matter, the bond of profession go deep.

“It doesn’t make any difference if it was in Kansas City or New York City. When a firefighter is loss in a line of duty by saving and rescuing someone, it’s a tragedy that doesn’t need to happen,” Wilson said.

A tragedy, that brings the brothers and sisters of the fire department together, hoping to provide comfort to those who need it now.

“The pain still sits there because sometimes it’s a saying or a smell or something that happens in your life and then it’ll bring up a memory of that fallen brother,” said Wilson.

We’ll keep you updated if the honor guards will make a trip to Kansas City.

Crisp says if Kansas City needs help with staffing, they’ll send a request, but for now, Wichita Fire Department’s services are not needed at this time.

On the Kansas side, we have lost 117 firefighters since the mid 1800’s. That’s including three just this year.

The worst year was 2010 when we lost five firefighters across the state. Three of those killed were fire chiefs. The worst tragedy was in November 1968. Four firefighters died when the ceiling collapsed at Yingling Chevrolet near English and Topeka, right here in Wichita.

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