By Pilar Arias
Hundreds of San Antonio Fire Department uniformed personnel participated in a walk of honor for fallen firefighter Scott Deem Thursday morning from the Alamodome to the Alamo.
The march was led by flags, a vintage fire truck and Ladder 35 from Deem’s station. SAFD Chief Charles Hood also participated.
The event not only brought men and women of the department together, but allowed them to share stories during their time of grief.
“The more I can talk about it, the more it helps,” SAFD paramedic Phil Laws said. “It still stings and he’s always going to be with us.”
The walk kicked off two days of formal and informal events honoring Deem.
Some attendees who didn’t know Deem well said they still felt compelled to attend the walk, and will attend the funeral services because of how strong the brotherhood runs in the department.
“Honor him. Honor everybody else here,” an emotional SAFD engineer Alex Ibarra said.
Dennis Parks was on scene the night of the fire and transported injured firefighter Brad Phipps to the San Antonio Military Medical Center. He said every fire they respond to poses their own dangers, and it was no different last Thursday.
“When they brought Phipps out, we assumed that Scott was going to be soon behind him,” Parks said. He added that knowing the investigation results won’t help coping with Deem’s loss, but it will assist the department in making sure a similar loss never happens again.