A gathering is set for Sunday morning at Kennedy Park in Fall River at 8:45 a.m. at the Firefighter Memorial in the area to honor the lives of retired firefighters who lost their lives in 2018.
The ceremony is part of an annual nationwide day of remembrance of those who died in active duty or after retirement. Fire Chief John Lynch says the six to be honored this weekend lived well into their 90’s and really beat the odds in regards to the life expectancy of a firefighter.
“That was an extraordinary amount carcinogens those guys took in at that time,” he said. “It's amazing that those guys survived this long. The average age for anybody right now that retires usually lasts 8 to 9 years - believe it or not."
Lynch recognized those men as part of one of the greatest generations of firefighters who had to do the job in much tougher circumstances.
"The way they would put a fire would be bringing the hose line into the building and hang low to the floor,” he said. “They would be sucking in smoke. But they would still put those fires out.”
Fall River’s Fire Chief continued to these group of guys were an anomaly.
"They're really an exception to the rule to live that long because all of those older guys were firefighters before we had breathing apparatus and high-tech equipment,” Lynch explained. “Back in the day, we'd call them smoke-eaters."
Sunday morning’s ceremony at Kennedy Park is open to the public.