Hundreds gather to honor life of fallen Ariz. FF-EMT

Members of a least a dozen agencies from across Arizona attended a memorial for Brendan Bessee, who died in an ambulance crash

By Leila Merrill

MIAMI, Ariz. — Hundreds of first responders, family members and friends honored the life of Firefighter-EMT Brendan Bessee at a public memorial service on Saturday.

Bessee was killed in an April 8 ambulance crash. Tyler Packer, who was also in the ambulance, remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Bessee had recently transferred from the Globe Fire Department to Salt River.

Members of a least a dozen agencies from across Arizona attended the memorial, Fox 10 reported. So did people from Globe, Miami and other area towns.

"Believe it or not, this is a rare event for us," said Dustin Zamboni, fire marshal at the Salt River Fire Department told the Arizona Republic. "And people are leaning on each other for support. We understand that people have to get through this, but right now we are focusing on supporting the families."

Zamboni added: "I think it's real important that the community is out here and sees this. Our jobs are very difficult. They're stressful. We work in very hazardous and high-stress environments and a lot of times we don't come out and talk about it a lot. So when we do have community support, it really does help us out to mitigate some of these emotional barriers that we have."


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