He lis­tened more than he spoke, came to work early ev­ery day and al­ways walked in happy.

He was liv­ing his child­hood dream, do­ing the thing he wanted to do from the mo­ment he could put his own boots on and knew that red was a color.

“Bravery was in his blood.”

That’s what Fire Com­mis­sioner Daniel Ni­gro said Fri­day about Fire­fighter Steven Pol­lard, who died Sun­day when he fell from a Belt Park­way bridge try­ing to res­cue a trapped vic­tim in a car ac­ci­dent.

“Steven was ev­ery­thing we want in a fire­fighter,” Ni­gro told mourn­ers at Pol­lard’s fu­neral at Good Shep­herd Ro­man Catholic Church in Brook­lyn, not far from the ex­press­way where the rookie lost his life. “This young man was strong, smart, hard­work­ing and ded­i­cated, and above all, he was brave.”

That’s high praise from the depart­ment’s high­est man, but still not as poignant as the tears from the FDNY Bravest who served with Pol­lard ev­ery day, the ones with Pol­lard on the bridge when he slipped through the three-foot gap that sep­a­rates the el­e­vated lanes.

“On Sun­day, what Steven

saw was a fel­low hu­man be­ing in a crum­pled SUV on the Belt Park­way,” a solemn Mayor de Bla­sio told a sea of mourn­ers at the church in Ma­rine Park.

On one side of the mayor hung a pic­ture of Pol­lard in uni­form, all busi­ness, ready to serve. On the other side sat Pol­lard's pol­ished hel­met, the lad­der num­ber “170” em­bla­zoned on the front.

“He did not hes­i­tate,” the mayor told the hun­dreds of nod­ding heads..”He saw some­one in dan­ger. He saw some­one who needed help. In that in­stant he gave his life.”

Pol­lard, a die-hard New York Rangers fan, came from a fam­ily of fire­fight­ers. His fa­ther is a re­tired fire­fighter, and his brother has served in the depart­ment for 11 years.

Col­leagues de­scribed Pol­lard, 30, as hard­work­ing, loyal and quiet. He'd been on the job just 18 months.

“When it came to fire duty, Steve showed no fear,” said Ti­mothy Klein, a fire­fighter at Lad­der 170. “Now, on the other hand, dress­ing as Santa Claus ab­so­lutely ter­ri­fied him.”

“He went about his busi­ness the way the ideal pro­ba­tion­ary fire­fighter should,” Klein said. “He earned his place in Ca­nar­sie by the way he car­ried him­self and how he did ev­ery­thing the right way. There is not a doubt in my mind, or my fel­low Ca­nar­sie fire­fight­ers' minds, that Steve would have filled the shoes and ex­ceeded the ex­pec­ta­tions of his fa­ther Ray and brother Ray Jr.”

Ear­lier, thou­sands lined the streets in solemn trib­ute as Pol­lard's cas­ket was brought in­side the church. A pha­lanx of 59 cops on mo­tor­cy­cle led the pro­ces­sion.

A gleam­ing FDNY truck had car­ried the cas­ket from the fu­neral home to the church. Nine fire­fight­ers car­ried the cas­ket into the sanc­tu­ary, where about 700 mourn­ers, most of them uni­formed FDNY mem­bers, filled ev­ery seat.

Fel­low fire­fight­ers lined up out­side saluted the hero. FDNY Chap­lain Msgr. John De­lenick led the ser­vice with six other priests and Bishop Neil Tiede­mann.

Fire of­fi­cials said Pol­lard was try­ing to save the two peo­ple trapped in the wreck­age of the crash when he slipped through a gap and fell more than 50 feet to a con­struc­tion site below.

Cof­fin of Fire­fighter Steven Pol­lard (inset) is car­ried from Good Shep­herd Church in Brook­lyn on Fri­day.

Out­pour­ing of love and re­spect for Fire­fighter Steven Pol­lard (inset) fills street out­side Brook­lyn church Fri­day as his cof­fin is trans­ported on fire truck (right). At right, a tear slides down cheek of Fire­fighter An­thony Baker. Pol­lard’s fa­ther Ray­mond (far right) stands with his wife Janet and holds his son’s hel­met.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.