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Fallen firefighters honored Saturday

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Old Milwaukee Fire Department truck, on display at Wisconsin Firefighters Memorial in Wisconsin Rapids, WI.
Old Milwaukee Fire Department truck, on display at Wisconsin Firefighters Memorial in Wisconsin Rapids, WI.

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAU) - Flags will be at half-staff around Wisconsin Saturday to honor the state’s fallen firefighters. Wisconsin lost five firefighters in 2012.

One ceremony is Final Alarm and Roll Call ceremony at the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial Park, along the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin Rapids beginning at 3:33 p.m.

The Wisconsin Rapids ceremony will honor firefighters lost in 2012 including Joseph Floryance of Milwaukee ,Chief Steven Fritz of the Rothschild Fire Department, Chief Philip Mortensen from the Brooklyn Fire & EMS Protection District, plus two additional firefighters who died this year. They are Firefighter John Soukup from Sturgeon Bay and Lieutenant David Cooper from Pleasant Prairie.

Last week, 81 fallen firefighters from across the nation were honored at the 32nd National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service at Emmitsburg, Maryland. During the service, bronze plaques containing their names were added to the memorial located at the National Fire Academy. Fritz and Mortensen were two of the four Wisconsin firefighters honored in that ceremony. The other two were John “Jack” Colbert from the Birchwood Fire Department who died after responding to the fire station to handle radio communications during a call, and Jamison Kampmeyer from the Colby Fire Department who died while fighting a fire at the Abbotsford Theatre when the roof collapsed on him.

The Wisconsin Rapids event does include a procession of emergency vehicles starting at 7:00 p.m.

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