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ryanm
08-10-2007, 20:47
:patriot:
Updated: Firefighter Dies In Accident At I-30 Crash Scene


Authorities say a volunteer firefighter was killed early Friday morning on Interstate 30 when he fell off a bridge while working an accident on Interstate 30 near Benton.

Benton Fire Chief Ben Blankenship says there was a crash at about 2 a.m. on westbound I-30 on a bridge over the Saline River.

Lt. Paul Baker of the Turtle Creek Volunteer Fire Department was trying to cut a victim out of the car when he lost his footing and fell off the bridge, suffering fatal injuries.

Less than 12 hours after the fall off the 35-foot bridge, his fellow firefighters have already placed a memorial at the scene of the accident.

"It hurt. You know, not only was he a fellow firefighter but he was a good friend," says firefighter Brennan Bosley.

Three miles away at the Turtle Creek Fire Department is a sign up in his memory. Below it, is his gear he wore during the accident.

Bosley says, He was always the guy that was on us about safety and for that to happen it just blows us away.

Baker had been with the department for 23 years. He started volunteering when he was just 19.
His brothers call him the "go to man" who was always fixing things and keeping the trucks in good shape.

Firefighter Lt. Johnny Cooper says, "I was thinking, no this couldn't be happening, not Paul. He was one of the best guys in the department."

Friday, friends and other firefighters came in and out of the department to show their support for each other during this rough time. Since it started in 1976, the department's never had a firefighter die, until now.

"Its hard to swallow. I mean it really it is. To think a life has been taken by a just a freak accident that never should have happened," explains Bosley.

Baker is described as a loving father of three children and one granddaughter who enjoyed being outdoors, and his friends say most importantly helping others.

For the brotherhood of firefighters, they say they will remain committed to his memory and prayer for his family. Lt. Paul Baker, a hero who died working to save another.

Arrangements are pending through Ashby's Funderal home in Benton. Memorials may be made to the Baker Family at Regions Bank in Benton.

This is the first Arkansas firefighter to die since November of 2005.

Click the link below the picture for information about the Arkansas Fallen Firefighter Memorial and how you can help.
http://www.todaysthv.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=50792

4095fanatic
08-10-2007, 21:53
God Bless. You're in our prayers.

:sadangel:

Firefighter/EMS Sergeant Erik Steciak
Howard County Fire and Rescue, Engine Company 3
West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department.