Fallen Lancaster Firefighter Honored

By
Alex Stec

Dateline
Updated Wed, Oct 12, 2011 12:20 pm

The 30th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial service this weekend will pay tribute to Lancaster's Lieutenant Joseph McCafferty, along with 72 other firefighters from across the nation who died in the line of duty in 2010.

 
"He was the first Lancaster firefighter to die in the line of duty, and hopefully the last," said Assistant Fire Department Chief Dave Ward. McCafferty, a 37-year veteran of the Lancaster Fire Department, served as Ward's lieutenant and mentor for several years. 
 
On January 2, 2010, McCafferty was directing fire crews fighting an apartment fire in the 400 block of Garfield Avenue where he collapsed. Two weeks later, he died at the Ohio State University Medical Center.  
 
Ward said they are a close-knit department, all 83 of them acting like a family, so he will travel to Maryland this weekend to represent the Lancaster Fire Department and honor McCafferty.  
 
The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial service, held in Emmitsburg, Maryland, includes a candle light vigil on Saturday and the official ceremony on Sunday. Ward says the fallen firefighters' inscribed names on the walk of honor will be unveiled and the service will be held by members of Congress, administration officials and other dignitaries. Members of the fire service, honor guard and pipe and drum units from across the nation will participate while families and the friends of the fallen firefighters will attend.  
 
Each fire department will issue a flag that has been flown over the U.S. Capitol and the National Memorial to the spouses and families of the fallen.  
 
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