Funeral services held for fallen FDNY firefighter from Long Island
Friend, family and fellow firefighters said their final goodbyes to an FDNY firefighter from Long Island who died one day after battling a fire in Queens.
A funeral for firefighter Jesse Gerhard was held in Bay Shore this afternoon.
Thousands attended the ceremony and became silent when the FDNY gave Gerhard's nephew his uncle's helmet.
Gerhard died one day after battling a two-alarm house fire in Far Rockaway. The FDNY says he collapsed at the Ladder 134 Firehouse and died.
Gerhard was with the FDNY for seven years and was also a volunteer firefighter for the Islip Fire Department.
"Most of us, it's calling," said retired FDNY firefighter Paul LaGrandier. "We all come together, we all have the same sense of loyalty and love for each other."
The funeral for Gerhard took place at Saint Patrick’s Church in Bay Shore.
The FDNY says they will always remember him for the lives he saved while on the job.
"I have spoken with a lot of the guys who work with him and they are absolutely heartbroken," added Andrew Ansaro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.
His family says they are making sure his organs are donated so that he could continue to save even more lives.
Donations in memory of Gerhard can be made to "Fired Up for a Cure," an organization that educates firefighters on cancer awareness and prevention.