Fallen Rochester Firefighter to be Honored in State Memorial Service
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A firefighter from Rochester is among the nine firefighters who will be honored during this year’s Minnesota Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service on the grounds of the State Capitol Sunday afternoon.
Stanley O’Brien and another member of the Rochester Fire Department died on Christmas Eve in 1953 trying to rescue a young child who had fallen through the ice on Silver Lake. A flag box memorializing his sacrifice will be presented to the Rochester Fire Department and O’Brien’s family during the ceremony, which will also honor six other Minnesota firefighters who died in the line of duty between 1934 and 1989 and two firefighters who died during the past year.
Firefighter Timothy Royce of Mapleton died after suffering a heart attack on duty on March 30th and Fire Captain Jeffrey Vollmer of Mayer suffered a fatal attack during a training exercise last December.
Five of the other six firefighters to be honored during the ceremony also succumbed to heart attacks while on duty and in many cases while responding to emergencies. Two of them were members of the Winona Fire Department. Alvin Pagel died in 1963 and Daniel Wroblewski died in 1989. Lyle Fire Chief Charles Drenth died in 1983, Ostrander firefighter John Schwenn died in 1986, and Albert Roos of the Mankato Fire Department died in 1934. Minneapolis Firefighter Harlow Tischer of Minneapolis was killed during a fire rescue in 1947 that also claimed the lives of three other firefighters.
The service will begin at 1 pm.