By Ralph Iannotti – KDKA
NORTH VERSAILLES (KDKA) — The search for a missing Wilmerding woman took a tragic turn Saturday evening when a local volunteer firefighter, who was part of the search crew, was struck by a train and killed.
Edwin J. “Lance” Wentzel, 57, was a 35-year veteran of the Youngwood Volunteer Fire Department in Westmoreland County. He was hit from behind by a Norfolk Southern freight train.
Wentzel was part of a team from the fire department that brought canines in to help in the search for 55-year-old Ruth Mullennix of Wilmerding. She hasn’t been seen since Monday night.
Swissvale Police contacted the fire department for help.
The search area was near the railroad tracks beneath the Westinghouse Bridge in North Versailles. Mullennix’s coat and cell phone were found Thursday in a rail yard beneath the bridge.
By WTAE – Andrew Del Greco
PITTSBURGH —With an American flag draped over his coffin, Pittsburgh police K-9 Officer Rocco received full police honors Thursday night as his body was escorted out of the veterinary clinic where he bravely battled severe injuries the past two days.
“They have a heavy heart. They lost a colleague. Officer (Phil) Lerza lost a member of his family,” said Pittsburgh Police Cmdr. Eric Holmes.
Most members of the police K-9 unit, including many of its 21 K-9s, were at the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty Emergency Center on Camp Horne Road in Ohio Township to salute Rocco. Then a police procession led throughout the city, ending at Cemetery Lane.
“He died saving his fellow members and he lived serving all of us,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at all city buildings in honor of Rocco.
Peduto told reporters he spoke to Lerza and his wife and “their heart is broken” over Rocco’s death.
North Irwin VFD is reporting a 63 year old firefighter died of an apparent heart attack while responding to a residential structure fire around 2:00 am on Wednesday November 10th.
Another firefighter sustained an ankle injury and at least one person in the house received treatment for smoke inhalation.
Our thoughts go out to North Irwin VFD and all that were impacted by this terrible news.
More details will be posted when they become available.
I read this and it hit a little close to home in more than one way.
“Rhode Island – Firefighter Wayne Brown of Bristol Fire and Rescue Department was preparing to respond to a call from his home on November 3rd. He became ill and called for emergency medical services for himself. When emergency assistance arrived, Firefighter Brown was found unresponsive near his door with his gear on. To date, the cause of death has not been determined.”
I’m currently recovering from a 2-1/2 story fall within the fire department that could have paralyzed or even killed me. Fortunately, I only suffered a broken back. I’m doingfine with an expected 100% recovery. My doctor said I’ll be back in bunker gear within a year. Also, just last week, my home station’s QRS service responded to the local Community College of Beaver County where a healthy, 18 year old Tamir Phillips, a freshman student and promising basketball player, collapsed and died during a break at basketball practice. Tamir never got a chance to play a single game of his college career. Well, what I guess I’m trying to say is, Life is too short. You could be in your own home, responding to a call, or taking a water break at basketball practice. I was lucky. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Brown and Phillips family’s, and all of his brother fire fighters and teammates.
Link to origional article on Wayne Brown FireFightingNews.com
Link to article on Tamir Phillips WPXI.Com
P.S. Sorry Nozzelnut for using the image from your articles. I couldn’t find another one that looked as good.
EMMITSBURG, Md. — A Washington County firefighter who died in the line of duty was honored Sunday during a ceremony recognizing more than 110 others who died last year.
Jeremy LaBella’s name is etched on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Md.LaBella, 27, was a firefighter in the city of Washington for less than six months when a flaming porch roof collapsed onto him in February 2007.
“He joined in August and was dead in February. So, for a short time, he got to do what he wanted to do,” said LaBella’s mother, Pam. “He always said to me, ‘Mom, don’t worry.'”
“They weren’t actually in the building, they were outside the building and the overhanging roof collapsed,” said Chuck LaBella, the firefighter’s father.More than 40 members of the LaBella family traveled to Emmitsburg for Sunday’s service, taking with them Jeremy LaBella’s helmet and custom-made buttons that have his picture.”At a time like this, when you’re down there, you can handle it, but it’s at the quiet moments on your ride home from work when it really hits you,” Pam LaBella said.”When you don’t got nothing else on your mind, that’s when you think about him — and it’s all the time,” Chuck LaBella said.They find some comfort knowing their only son followed in his father’s footsteps, fulfilling a dream that cost him his life.”It’s nice that they do this. It helps to keep their memory alive and I just hope we never forget him. We won’t forget him. Not just to us — there are too many memories. We’ll never forget him,” Pam LaBella said.