Fire Department Keeps Running to Honor Fallen Firefighters
|Tuesday, 03 February 2009|
Newport Beach (CA) Fire Department (NBFD) members and their families joined over 18,000 runners on Sunday, February 1, for the Surf City USA Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5k event in Huntington Beach, CA. The firefighters participated in the Half Marathon for the second consecutive year as part of the NBFD’s ongoing commitment to “keep running” as a way to honor fallen firefighters.
Last year, NBFD Captain Kevin Boyles used the race to honor the memory of his friend, firefighter Michael Boyle, who died during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City. Boyle had been training for a marathon before he passed away. Boyles ran in the Surf City USA event wearing an FDNY shirt in his honor.
NBFD lost a firefighter and a friend from their own department in June 2008, when Kevin Pryor, an active member of the department’s athletic teams, suffered a stroke after returning home from fighting wildland fires. He was only 31 years old, and his death shocked his department. Pryor had been training for the Camp Pendleton Mud Run, a challenging 10k marathon and obstacle course. To honor and remember him, the department rallied and participated in the run, taking home first place in the Public Safety division.
“We want our fallen brothers to know that we are ‘still running.’ That is what we do when someone gets hurt, retires, or dies. We pick up and keep running,” said NBFD Captain Jeff Boyles. “We have no choice. It is a dignified way to continue to honor our fallen.”
Find out more about the NBFD and their marathon results in the Spring 2009 issue of The Pulse. Find out more about heart disease and stroke on the Heart-Healthy Firefighter web site.