Diocesan News

Brooklyn Firefighter Falls to Death Helping Crash Victims

By Timothy Harfmann

FF. Pollard (Photo courtesy New York City Fire Department)

The New York City Fire Department is mourning the loss of one of its bravest.

Brooklyn Firefighter Steven H. Pollard died from critical injuries sustained in the line of duty while responding to a car accident on the Mill Basin Bridge Jan. 6.

“It’s an incredibly sad night for the Pollard family, for the Fire Department family, for our city,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. “One and a half years on the job, Steven Pollard had, just starting out, his life [ended] tonight in the process of helping others.”

Pollard, who served with Ladder 170 in Canarsie, responded to a call over the Mill Basin Bridge along the Belt Parkway Sunday night. In an attempt to save the two car-crash victims, he slipped through a gap between the lanes and fell nearly 50 feet to his death. He was later pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital.

He is the 1,151th member of the department to die in the line of duty.

FDNY Chaplain Msgr. John Delendick  was on hand to minister to Pollard’s family and brother firefighters.

Related: Thousands Attend Fallen Firefighter’s Funeral

“They were, obviously, very upset and very distraught over this whole thing. The firefighters from the company were actually in shock,” said Msgr. Delendick.

“You’ve lost a family member, and it’s very difficult. And you have to take time to pray,” he said.

Pollard and his family are parishioners at Good Shepherd Church in Marine Park. Pollard received his sacraments there and was part of the religious education program. He graduated from St. Edmund Prep H.S., Sheepshead Bay, in 2006.

“Steven’s selfless dedication to the City of New York exemplifies all that we hope our graduates to be as they fulfill the mission of St. Edmund Prep,” Principal Allison McGinnis said in a statement posted to the school website. “We pray that Steven’s bravery will be an example for our students for generations to come.”

A member of the school community described him as “very respectful.” He was also a member of the hockey team.

Outside his Canarsie firehouse was a makeshift memorial with flowers.

“It breaks everybody’s heart. I mean, who doesn’t love a firefighter? They’re really good guys; so I think everybody, the whole community, hurts,” said Sharon Chambers, a Canarsie resident.

“I’m very sorry to hear what happened. My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. I wish him all the best. God bless him,” said Raphael Watts, another resident.

Pollard is survived by his parents, Janet and Raymond, a retired firefighter who served for 32 years, and his brother, Raymond, an 11-year veteran of Ladder Company 114 in Sunset Park.

A funeral Mass was scheduled for Good Shepherd Church on Friday, Jan. 11. A committal service was to follow at Green-Wood Cemetery.

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