Firefighters 2024

MEMBERS OF THE Wakefield Fire Department march into Lakeside Cemetery for Sunday’s Firefighters Memorial Services. (Mark Sardella Photo)


WAKEFIELD – Attendees dodged the raindrops to join members of the Wakefield Fire Department at yesterday morning’s Firefighters Memorial Sunday services at Lakeside Cemetery. On hand for the well-attended event were residents and local officials as well as current and former Wakefield firefighters, including former Wakefield Fire Chief David Parr. 

The annual event is organized by the Wakefield Firefighters Relief Association to honor all the deceased members of the Wakefield Fire Department. The ceremony was held in front of one of the two Firefighters Memorial Monuments at Lakeside Cemetery. The two monuments serve as the final resting places for firefighters Malcolm W. Burke, James M. Greelish, Charles W. Frost, John Wilson, David Graham, William Tyzzer, Henry Fay, Robert Glass and Joseph Meuse. 

At about 8:30 a.m. a procession of current Wakefield firefighters marched into the cemetery led by bagpiper Dan Norton. Firefighters stood in formation throughout the service. 

Fire Lieutenant Sean Curran served as the Master of Ceremonies and welcomed those in attendance before calling upon Fire Department Chaplain Rev. Glenn Mortimer from Wakefield/Lynnfield United Methodist Church to offer the Invocation prayer. 

Curran then introduced Town Councilor John Carney who spoke of his close family connection to the Wakefield Fire Department including two brothers who were Wakefield firefighters. As a veteran, Carney said that he was proud of the fact that more than half of all Wakefield firefighters are fellow veterans. 

The next speaker was State Rep. Donald Wong, who said that he was pleased to be invited to honor the fallen firefighters “who have made the ultimate sacrifice to save people they don’t even know.” 

Fire Chief Michael Sullivan was the next speaker. 

“Wakefield shares a rich history with its firefighters,” Sullivan said. “Fire has literally changed the landscape of Wakefield. Historic landmarks such as the Baptist Church have been destroyed by fire and rebuilt. Whole sections of downtown Wakefield have been transformed by fire and reborn. Wakefield and its firefighters have been affected by tragedy involving both their own members and the population that they protect.” 

Sullivan talked about changes in technology and building materials that increase danger faced by firefighters as well as technological improvements that advance safety. 

Sullivan thanked Lieutenant Curran for serving as master of ceremonies for the memorial exercises as well as Lieutenant Daniel Hancock and Firefighter Rich Bruno for organizing the arrangements for the ceremony. He also recognized Lieutenant Hancock for overseeing the landscaping around both firefighter memorials. He also thanked retired Firefighter Tom Collins for donating the Fire Department flag on display at the ceremony. 

Lieutenant Sean Curran then read the list of 87 deceased Wakefield firefighters. Ater each name was read, Firefighter Chris Hagan rang the bell on Ladder 1 in tribute. After all the names were read, “Taps” was played by recent Wakefield Memorial High School graduates Lilah Hatheway and Caroline Dill. Lieutenant Curran and Chief Sulliven then placed a memorial wreath on the Firefighters Memorial Monument. The wreath was donated by Sweetbay Flowers and Gifts. 

Following the benediction by Rev. Mortimer, attendees were invited to enjoy refreshments provided by Derek Robertson of Honeydew Donuts.