Georgetown Fire Chief Fred Mitchell, Groveland Fire Chief Robert Valentine and West Newbury Fire Chief Michael Dwyer announce that this year’s Firefighter Memorial Sunday event will be postponed until further notice.
Each year, the event is held on the second Sunday in June to honor firefighters who have dedicated their lives to serving their communities as well as those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony will be postponed until further notice to ensure the health and safety of all who may attend.
“State and local health officials continue to urge strict social distancing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and as a result, we decided to postpone this event until it’s safe for us to all be together,” said Chief Mitchell. “We look forward to hosting this event later this year and honoring the men and women who have dedicated their lives and sacrificed to keep residents safe.”
“Each year, we look forward to joining our neighboring departments in order to recognize and remember firefighters who have risen above and beyond to serve their communities,” said Chief Valentine. “I take great pride in the work each of our departments have done separately and together, and look forward to honoring all of those who have chosen a career in the fire service later this year.”
“This decision was not made lightly and we felt it would be best to wait to hold this year’s memorial event until the situation surrounding COVID-19 is further resolved,” said Chief Dwyer. “The pandemic has helped to highlight the important role firefighters play in our community, and we look forward to honoring all who have shown great dedication and commitment to the safety of our residents at the memorial service when the time is right.”
Those who will be honored this year include retired West Newbury Fire Lt. Stephen Cutter, who also served as the assistant chief for the Sanford Fire Department in Sanford, Maine and chief of the Newburyport Fire Department; retired West Newbury Assistant Chief Glenn Coffin; retired West Newbury Firefighter William Harnois and retired Georgetown Fire Chief Harold Roeder.
The three departments take turns hosting the service and a memorial breakfast, and this year’s event will be held at the Georgetown Fire Station, 47 Central St. A new date for the ceremony later this year has not yet been decided, but will be announced once it’s been determined.