By Tim Harfmann
The New York City Fire Department is mourning the loss of one of its bravest.
“They were, obviously, very upset and very distraught over this whole thing. The firefighters from the company were actually in shock,” said FDNY chaplain, Monsignor John Delendick while describing the emotion of Steven Pollard’s family and fellow firefighters from Ladder Company 170 in Canarsie. The 30-year-old was with the department a year-and-a-half.
Pollard responded to a call over the Mill Basin Drawbridge along the Belt Parkway Sunday night and tried saving two car-crash victims. But he fell through the gap between the lanes and plunged nearly 50 feet to his death.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said, “It’s an incredibly sad night for the Pollard family, for the Fire Department family, for our city. One and a half years on the job, Steven Pollard had, just starting out, [ended] his life tonight in the process of helping others.”
“You’ve lost a family member, and it’s very difficult. And you have to take time to pray,” said Monsignor Delendick. Pollard and his family are parishioners at Good Shepherd in Marine Park. Pollard received his sacraments at the Brooklyn church and was part of the religious education program. He graduated from Brooklyn’s St. Edmund Prep High School in 2006. He was described as ‘very respectful’ and was also a member of the hockey.
Outside the Canarsie firehouse was a makeshift memorial with flowers. Canarsie residents are in mourning. “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 the 1,150th member of the department to die in the line of duty. His wake is scheduled for Wednesday, January 9 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM and Thursday, January 10 from 2:00 – 4:00 and 7:00 – 9:00 PM at Marine Park Funeral Home, 3024 Quentin Road, Brooklyn, New York. A funeral Mass will be held 11:30 AM on Friday, January 11 at Good Shepherd R.C. Church, 1950 Batchelder Street, Brooklyn, NY. A committal service to follow at the Green-Wood Crematory Chapel inside Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232.