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Ohioans Gather to Remember Two Fallen Firefighters
TOLEDO (Ben Garbarek) -- Firefighters from across the state of Ohio and the country honored the lives of two firefighters killed in the line of duty during a Last Alarm memorial.
They came from as far away as Houston, Texas to say goodbye to James Dickman and Steve Machcinski, two Toledo firefighters killed while battling a large apartment fire earlier this month.
Several fire departments from central Ohio made the trek to NW Ohio to pay tribute to their fallen brothers, including firefighters from Circleville.
"When you have a tragic instance like this, we tend to band together and you realize a little bit more it's a family," said David Robertson of the Circleville Fire Dept.
Machinski was a 16 year veteran of the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department. Dickman, however, had been with the department for just six months and leaves behind a wife and two kids - one of which is only a month old.
Columbus Police officers and Columbus firefighters were part of the Honor Guard marching in the service. Thousands packed the SeaGate Convention Centre to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to save everyone from that burning apartment.
"You put on a uniform. If you're a volunteer or paid, it doesn't matter. You're a firefighter. You're a part of the family. You take that oath to go in and sacrifice when it's needed and that's what happened here," said Robertson.