“It’s rough. It puts it into perspective for us. Every day we send people into situations in which they could lose their life,” Eric Lahey, chief of the Fort Wayne Fire Department, said.
New Carlisle Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Jamie Middlebrook died Tuesday night when the roof of the large building he was in collapsed. He was trapped under the debris.
“The nature of our duties are real and the risks we take are always there,” Jeremy Bush, president of Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters Local 124, said. “This is where you truly see what the brotherhood and sisterhood is all about. We’re there for each other in happiness and sadness. For us, it’s just showing our support and our condolences and appreciation for what that member just did. He lost his life in the line of duty.”
Middlebrook had been a firefighter for 22 years and leaves behind a wife and his parents. His father was also a firefighter for New Carlisle.
“I offer my condolences and prayers to his department and the family of the assistant chief and I want to let them know their brothers and sisters in Fort Wayne are thinking of them and keeping them in their prayers,” Lahey said.
This tragedy also brings home the mission behind a golf outing planned for Friday. It raises money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
“It’s a life-long need that that family’s going to have and that’s what the foundation’s there for,” Ed Lytal, the EMS chief for New Haven Adams Township Fire and EMS Department, said. “This is why we’re doing it.”
The NFFF golf outing started in Fort Wayne in 2011. Click here to support the NFFF.