'A helicopter fell but
three angels soared.
-COUNCILMAN JOEL WACHS
Service salutes fallen firefighters
Sacrificing all to safeguard the well-being of others, these heroes represent what is best about America, the letter said.
The arenas scoreboard displayed the names and images of the three firefighters. Three black-draped tables held their plastic-encased badges -- whose numbers were to be retired from service. Each table also displayed a gold medal from a firefighters organizations, a U.S. flag and a cedar box containing a Bible.
Gleaming new fire equipment , from ladders and axes to coiled hoses. surrounded the tables, along with bouquets and photographs of the men. A choir sang Amazing Grace and other hymns.
McCombs wife, Lorene, hugged to her chest the two U.S. flags presented to her in memory of her husband, who was to retire soon.
Two of Reiners young children played on the floor during the service while their mother, Lisa, dressed in a fire-red dress, sat somberly nearby.
Butlers wife, Maria Rosario, who is four months pregnant with the couples first child, also attended. Butler was the youngest paramedic hired by the department at the age of 21.
In the weeks since Dupees death, the city has come under scrutiny for budged cuts it has made to the Fire Department. On Friday, the City Council restored $3.8 million in funds to the department -- about half of the amount cut in February.
“We will not let our Fire Department down, Councilman Joel Wachs pledged. A helicopter fell but three angels soared.
The mourners did not include the two helicopter crewmembers who survived the crash. Pilot Steven L. Robinson, 32, of Agoura and Dennis Silgen, 52, of Thousand Oaks suffered serious injuries and remained hospitalized on Saturday at USC University Hospital. The hospital did not release their conditions.
Butler, 33, of Santa Clarita and Reiner, 33 of Carson were firefighter-paramedics assigned to Station 81 in the San Fernando Valley. McComb, 48, of Crestline, worked at Station 90 in the valley as an apparatus operator and was six months from retirement. Brief ceremonies were held at the two stations Saturday morning at which flags were lowered, taps was played and 10 bells were rung -- a Fire Department tradition.
Butler and Reiner were to be buried this week. McComb was cremated on Friday, Capt. Steve Ruda said. Services for the girl were scheduled for Tuesday.
McComb was also survived by children Maryann, 27; Patti, 30; and
Robert, 24. Reiner also left children Nicolas, 9; Jessica, 7; Marisa, 4; and Lucas, 2.
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