SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Nearly a year after his death, citizens and first responders of Savannah are still mourning the loss of Master Firefighter Michael Curry, Savannah Fire and Emergency Services.
“You never get over it. You never ever get over it. And what we do is what Michael did every day,” says Savannah Fire Chief, Charles Middleton.
But instead of mourning today, locals held a memorial for a man who put his life on the line.
Last November, firefighter Curry died during a rescue mission after a dock collapsed along the Savannah River. Dozens fell into the river and were injured, but Curry’s primary goal was to save as many as he could.
“Michael’s family lost a very near and dear family member. So I know for them that it’s important that people understand that they are still feeling this. But it’s also important for the community to understand that Michael left a family,” says Chief Middleton.
At the memorial, Chief Middleton presented Curry’s family with a parking sign engraved with his name. But he isn’t alone.
Curry is also joined by other fallen heroes that are special to the Savannah community.
The parking sign has a QR Code in the corner that will allow anyone to scan with an app to learn more information about the heroes.
Curry’s sister, Tamara was present at the memorial. She says, “we were a family of four, we lost one but we gained a whole family of firefighters.” Those firefighters are her life line, as they respond to anything she or her mother Susan may need.
What made this memorial special was not only veterans and first responders from the Savannah, but those who traveled farther from home.
First Grade Firefighter for the Fire Department of New York (F.D.N.Y) William Hayes, made the trip to Savannah to honor Curry and present a F.D.N.Y. Flag to Nine Line to honor the fallen.
“It was an honor to be here today especially to recognize a fallen brother firefighter. I use that word specifically brother because in our firefighter community we are all brothers and sisters and when we lose one it’s a loss to all of us so its an honor to be here to pay my respects,” Hayes said.
Everyone agreed that Curry died a hero.
“Michael, like so many other first responders, knew what it took to save people and he put himself in harms way to do that,” Middleton said.