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Montana Fallen Firefighters Memorial honors "real heroes"

firefighter memorial.PNG
Posted at 7:08 PM, Jun 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-12 15:17:39-04

COVID canceled the fallen firefighters memorial the last two years.

This year it came back on Saturday, in remembrance of two firefighters from Great Falls, one from Bozeman and one from West Yellowstone.

The names of four more firefighters have been engraved on the walls at the Montana State Firefighters Memorial.

The ceremony remembers firefighters lost in the line of duty and it's something important for family, friends and fellow-firefighters.

The Billings Caledonian Pipes and Drums band led the procession of firefighters and the color guard brought the flags.

"Bless this time as we gather together, to honor them, to remember them and above all, to give thanks for their service and their life," said Deputy Fire Marshal Jayson Nicholson of the Laurel Fire Department.

"The memorial and the hallowed ground that it sits upon is dedicated to individuals like Jason, Ian, Tom and Tim who answered the call, regardless of the risk to themselves into in service to their community and Montana," said Brian Dennis, former Laurel firefighter.

"Those wearing a uniform assume that risk for the safety of strangers," said Lori Johnson, Montana Professional Firefighters District 1 vice-president. "They and their families share and unspoken knowledge that each day brings new dangerous. These four men are real heroes. They gave it all for the love of the job and made the ultimate sacrifice."

She then read the names of the firefighters.

"Jason Baker from Great Falls fire. Last call February 20, 2019."

"Thomas Mark Duffy, a helicopter pilot. His last call August 24, 2020."

"Tim David Hart, West Yellowstone smokejumper. His last call June 11, 2021."

"And Lieutenant Colonel Ian Hermann McBeth, Montana Air National Guard pilot. His last call January 23 Of 2020."

"It's just an honor to put their names on the wall so we can always remember the sacrifice that they've provided for the state," said George Richards, Montana Professional Firefighters president.

Before the ceremonial bell ringing, J.W. Hopper announced the last call on radio.

"This is the last alarm for our fallen brothers who have passed away serving the communities in the great state of Montana. let it be known that they are not to respond again and instead should return home with Lord. Montana firefighters you may clear. time out 12:44."