Diana Fay Dizoglio – January, 2012
With heavy hearts people from all across Massachusetts honored four firefighters who lost their lives this holiday season. Among these brave fathers, husbands, brothers and sons was firefighter Robert George of Methuen who unexpectedly passed away just a few days before Christmas. Robert or “Robby” as his close friends called him, was greatly admired and esteemed by those in the brotherhood who traveled from all over to pay their respects.
Firefighters from Haverhill, Lawrence, North Andover and Andover covered Methuen’s stations during the funeral so that Robby’s local brothers and sisters could attend. President Pat Driscoll and Lieutenant Graeme Millar of the Lawrence Fire Department, who recently lost Lieutenant Jim “Jimbo” Zahn, did a great deal by helping Methuen firefighters to arrange the church ceremony and funeral. The Salem, NH, Lowell, and Boston Fire Departments also played integral roles in the funeral procession.
Matthew DiZoglio, cousin and good friend of Robby said, “The firefighters have just been unbelievable. They showed up on his wife’s doorstep with prepared meals and offered to clean or help out in any way they could. The support has been non-stop.”
“We all look to each other in a time of crisis and are all there to help each other. When you lose someone it is like losing a family member because you live together, sharing meals and conversation, for forty hours a week”, said Methuen’s Local Union President Tim Sheehy. “Robby was very smart and known for his leadership. He was well liked and respected by his fellow firefighters and will be missed greatly by all of us,” he added.
President Edward A. Kelly of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts said, “We all take an oath to protect our fellow citizens. It’s through this oath we take and the sacrifices we make that our brotherhood is forged. We know the sacrifices that we as firefighters make is to protect society; so when we lose one of our own, we owe it to each other to take care of the families we leave behind”.
Note: The four firefighters referenced above as stated on the PFFM website are as follows:
Jon Davies, Worcester FD, Line of Duty, 12/8 -Robert George, Methuen FD, Active Duty, 12/21 -Jim Rice, Peabody FD, Line of Duty 12/23 – Randy Rideout, Medford FD, Active Duty 12/29