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Community gathers for bunting ceremony honoring late FDNY officer

A bunting ceremony was held Monday evening for Steven H Pollard (pictured), who fell 52ft to his death on Sunday after slipping through a 3ft-wide gap between lanes of the Mill Basin Bridge in Brooklyn

An emotional bunting ceremony was held Monday evening for a New York City firefighter who fatally fell through a bridge gap while responding to a car accident in Brooklyn.

Hundreds of FDNY officers, community members and loved ones gathered in Canarsie to honor 30-year-old probationary officer Steven H Pollard.

Pollard had been walking between the carriageways of the Mill Basin Bridge on  Sunday when he tragically tumbled 52 feet through a a 3 foot-wide gap, which is seen in newly-released photos from the scene.

The bridge, which was originally solid the whole way across, was recently rebuilt to include a gap between each side of the road. 

The ceremony took place outside Ladder Company 170 in Canarsie, where the American flag hung from a ladder truck as ‘Amazing Grace’ played.

Pollard was remembered throughout the community Monday as a hard-working and ‘model’ firefighter.

 

FDNY members salute Pollard, Ladder 170, during his dignified transfer Monday

FDNY members salute Pollard, Ladder 170, during his dignified transfer Monday

Fellow firefighters are seen on the line the street as body of firefighter Pollard is  taken out of the medical examiners office

Fellow firefighters are seen on the line the street as body of firefighter Pollard is taken out of the medical examiners office

Captain James Quinn said: ‘Steven Pollard came to us in November of 2017, out of probie school. 

‘He was the model probie. Any job we gave him, he accomplished it. Any task we asked him to do, he did it well.

‘He was a good firefighter… he was on the way to being a great firefighter. He was going to become an anchor in the firehouse.’

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also said Monday: ‘[Pollard] devoted his life to the people of our city, like his brother, like his dad, he was trying to do such a good and important thing, and it’s just really painful to see him as we did in the hospital.’ 

The late Pollard comes from a family of firefighters, including father Ray Pollard, of Ladder 102 in Brooklyn and his brother Ray Pollard Jr., who is an active member of Ladder Company 114. 

He is also survived by his mother. 

Firefighters line the streets of New York Monday to honor the late Pollard 

Firefighters line the streets of New York Monday to honor the late Pollard 

Pollard was remembered in the community Monday as a hard-working and 'model' firefighter

Pollard was remembered in the community Monday as a hard-working and ‘model’ firefighter

Officers salute Pollard, Ladder 170, during his dignified transfer Monday

Officers salute Pollard, Ladder 170, during his dignified transfer Monday

The American flag hung from a ladder truck as 'Amazing Grace' played during the Monday evening ceremony

The American flag hung from a ladder truck as ‘Amazing Grace’ played during the Monday evening ceremony

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro called Pollard’s death a ‘terrible loss for the department’.

Nigro said: ‘To lose a member just at the beginning of his career like this is devastating to us.’ 

NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill tweeted early Monday that the entire department sends its condolences to Pollard’s family, friends and colleagues. 

‘#NYC will never forget your sacrifice,’ the tweet read.

A gap where the firefighter fell through separates the twin spans of the Mill Basin Bridge, Monday in the Brooklyn borough of New York

A gap where the firefighter fell through separates the twin spans of the Mill Basin Bridge, Monday in the Brooklyn borough of New York

Probationary firefighter Pollard fell to his death trying to cross between the two spans while responding to a car crash on the Belt Parkway Sunday night

Probationary firefighter Pollard fell to his death trying to cross between the two spans while responding to a car crash on the Belt Parkway Sunday night

In another statement posted on the department’s Facebook page Monday morning FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro and Mayor Bill de Blasio said: ‘It’s an incredibly sad night for the Pollard family, for the Fire Department family, and for our city. 

‘He lost his life tonight in the process of helping others.’

De Blasio and O’Neill went to the hospital after the accident.

‘This is a family who has done so much for New York City and now they’re going through this loss and this pain. It’s a very, very tough situation,’ de Blasio said.

Nigro said Ladder Company 170 in Brooklyn was called to the two-car accident with injuries on the Belt Parkway, just east of Flatbush, on Sunday at 10 p.m. 

Pollard slipped through a gap in the road between the carriageways while responding to the crash Sunday – and it’s not clear whether he knew the gap was there when he tried to cross. 

Pollard was trying to cross from one side of the carriageway to the other when he fell, though it is unclear if he knew the gap was there because it was added during recent building work

Pollard was trying to cross from one side of the carriageway to the other when he fell, though it is unclear if he knew the gap was there because it was added during recent building work

As the firefighters were going to help the victims Pollard slipped through a gap in the roadway and fell approximately 52 feet to the ground below. 

He was pronounced dead at a Kings County Hospital.

The man who he was trying to save, Travis Simms, 30, revealed his overwhelming feeling of guilt while speaking to the New York Post Monday from his home.

Simms was trapped in his wrecked Ford Explorer when he heard someone should out: “‘Oh my god, oh my God. Firefighter fell, he fell through, he fell through,'” he said. 

‘Pollard, he’s my hero. I send my prayers, my condolences to his family. I could only imagine what they’re going through.

‘When I got to the hospital, that’s when I found out [Pollard died]. Immediately I couldn’t control my emotions.’

Simms, who came out of the crash with stitches and a broken rib, said he plans to attend his hero’s funeral.

‘I have to tell to him, “thank you,” say my final goodbye… because at the end of the day, he made the ultimate sacrifice to make sure that I was alright.’

Pollard is the 1,151st member of the FDNY to die in the line of duty.

The deadly incident is currently under investigation. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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