By Pilar Arias, Don Morgan, and Bill O’Neil
A strong show of support for fallen San Antonio Firefighter Scott Deem across the Alamo City.
“He will rest eternally within this powerful calling of a firefighter… of a public servant… of a true American hero” San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said in remembering Deem, who leaves behind a wife who is expecting the couple’s third child.
“When we run away from danger, you our firefighters run toward it” State Senator Donna Campbell said, paying tribute to the ultimate sacrifice made by Deem.
“Firefighter Deem bravely and selflessly served the people of San Antonio as a firefighter with Station 35… and he truly embraced this noble calling” Mayor Ivy Taylor said.
Deem’s funeral drew firefighters from near and far to pay tribute to a hero.
“San Antonio is a very similar city to Austin–and the way the fire departments are run… they’re both very progressive, very safe departments… so when something like this happens, it hits very close to home” said Demetrius Countouriotis, who is a member of the Austin Fire Department’s Honor Guard and arrived in San Antonio for Deem’s funeral.
In fact, firefighters from dozens of departments arrived at Community Bible Church off of Loop 1604 to pay their respects.
“Not just for me, but for everyone here it’s very important to honor someone who made the ultimate sacrifice and passed on in the line of duty” New York City Firefighter Frank Busener told KTSA News, adding “Anytime a brother passes away–line of duty or not–it’s tough, regardless of situation or how it happened or what happened, it doesn’t get easier.”
Others also made the long journey to San Antonio to remember a hero.
“When we lose one of our own no matter where it is in the world… in the United States, we all try to come together and support each other” Plainfield, Illinois Firefighter Timothy Nance told us.
Many of those firefighters took part in a procession involving dozens of fire vehicles that made their way from the Alamodome north along U.S. Highway 281.
Another large group gathered in Alamo Plaza to pay their respects to Deem’s family as they drove past on their way to the church.
“We know the dangers involved, but we still do it. It’s our job to serve the community” retired Firefighter Juan Herrera told KTSA News.
“I just wanted to be here to pay my respects to the hero… I wanted to make sure I was here at some point… somewhere” Herrera said, adding “This is sad for the City, sad for the San Antonio Fire Department, and especially his family. We pray for them.”
Robert Chapa was also part of the large crowd in Alamo Plaza.
“I have a couple of friends of mine who are with the San Antonio Fire Department–I just want to help them support his brotherhood and the families of the fallen” Chapa told us, drawing some inspiration despite all of the sadness.
“It’s a great feeling even as I stand nearby. You can feel the love of the City come together as one” Chapa said.
Also in Alamo Plaza was Dora De los Santos.
“My son is a firefighter, he belongs to the Honor Guard. It’s hitting hard for him and them… everybody I can tell” De los Santos told us.
“He was at the fire that day. It was kind of shocking for them because they all wanted to rush in and look for him” she added.
“Scott will leave a legacy of commitment, heroism and service–and that’s going to continue to inspire us as we go about our calling in serving and protecting the people of this Alamo City” Hood said.
“The job is inherently dangerous. We know that when we take the oath, there’s a chance that we may never come home” Nance said.
“We’re brothers to the end… male and female” Herrera said.