Sussex County Fire & EMS Units Remember Fallen Wilmington Firefi - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Fire & EMS Units Remember Fallen Wilmington Firefighters

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SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. - Many Sussex County first responders will be heading up to Wilmington on Saturday for the funerals of two firefighters killed last weekend.

Firefighters Christopher Leach and Jerry Fickes were killed while responding to a row house fire.  Four other firefighters were injured. Two of them remain hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

Lewes Fire Department Chief Gordon Davis said that Leach and Fickes attended the funeral of Lewes firefighter Tim McClanahan after he died in a training exercise this summer. He considered both men friends, and said their deaths have rocked the entire fire community.

"It's kept most of us pretty much in a state of numbness," he said. "We're not even sure how to deal with it at this point."

Chief Davis says members from the Lewes Fire Department will be attending Leach and Fickes' joint memorial service this weekend.  Many other local fire departments told WBOC they plan on attending as well, such as Laurel, Milton, and Bethany Beach.

Sussex County Emergency Medical Services will also head to Wilmington. Some crews will attend the funeral, but others will be responding to the area's EMS calls so New Castle County crews have an opportunity to attend the service. Sussex County EMS Special Operations Coordinator Glenn Marshall says this is just what the first responder community does in times of tragedy.

"It's a brotherhood and sisterhood," he said. "No matter where you are in the world, when something like this happens, people come out to support you."

Marshall says he believes fire departments and EMS units from across the nation will be at the memorial service as well. While many from Sussex County will be attending, many will still be working, and that's something Lewes Fire Chief Davis hopes the community recognizes.

"At any moment's notice we're right back on the street handling another emergency," Davis told WBOC. "So our job doesn't stop because of tragedies like this."

The memorial service will take place at the Chase Center in Wilmington at 1 p.m. on Saturday.  


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