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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Several local fire departments lent a helping hand to Toledo Fire and Rescue during the Last Alarm Memorial Service for Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman, the two firemen who lost their lives battling a blaze in north Toledo on Sunday.
Rossford, Oregon, Northwood, Maumee, Perrysburg, Washington Township and Sylvania helped to staff Toledo fire stations during the tribute at the SeaGate Centre, while at the same time making sure they have enough coverage for their own communities.
"This is a tragedy for the families, for Toledo, for northwest Ohio and firefighters from around the country. When something like this happens everybody bonds together," said Rossford Fire Chief Jim Verbosky.
The Number 6
Fire Station in east Toledo was covered by the Oregon Fire Department. Members said they were honored to fill in.
"I feel it is important to support our community when a tragedy like this
happens, because we all come together no matter where you're from," said Lt. Chris Mullin.
Enough equipment was brought in to handle Toledo emergencies, but
departments also left behind vehicles and crews to cover their own communities.
"I feel like I'm honoring the two firefighters that died by being here and
continuing the job they did," said Oregon firefighter Joey Snyder.
It was especially gratifying for Snyder because he served on the Perkins Township
Fire Department with Dickman.
"He was a great guy. Just always helping and always lifted spirits."
Deputy Chief Mark Mullins watched the memorial service on TV at the station. He
says this night of mutual aid is what firefighting is all about.
"It's a brotherhood across the country," he said. "It's important for us to do this
because we want them to have their time to grieve."
And then return to duty; return to protecting the lives of Toledoans.