Friends, family say goodbye to FDNY firefighter from LI who died in line of duty
Hundreds of people showed up Tuesday to say farewell to an FDNY firefighter from Long Island at Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in East Islip.
Jesse Gerhard died in the line of duty after battling a two-alarm house fire in Far Rockaway.
The FDNY says he collapsed at the Ladder 134 Firehouse and died early Thursday.
He was with the FDNY for seven years and was also a volunteer firefighter for the Islip Fire Department.
"It's just heartbreaking to see a young life taken so soon from a family that loved him so much," says FDNY Acting Commissioner Laura Kavanagh.
Russell Wilcox, an air force veteran, understands the bravery required for the call to serve and says you never know what is going to happen.
“He’s volunteering his life to go in and fighting this fire to save people who he doesn’t even know,” Wilcox says. “You really got to pay respect to the people who serve and keep us all protected.”
A funeral procession for Gerhard is taking place on Wednesday at 12 p.m. at Saint Patrick’s Church in Bay Shore.
Gerhard is also saving lives after his death because he is an organ donor. Live on New York says his death will bring the gift of sight and heal dozens in need of tissue donation.