Local Firefighters Head to South Carolina for Memorial Service

Today, nearly all of South Carolina is mourning for the nine fallen firefighters who died after trying to fight a fire.

Some of our very own firefighters are making the trip to the Palmetto State to pay tribute to their fallen brothers. They got an early start Friday.

"They're practically our sister city, so I didn't care how early it was, I was going to make the trek up there and go to this memorial," said City of Savannah master firefighter Grady Emfinger.

To leave Savannah in time for the service, firefighters showed up at the Savannah Fire Department around 5:30am.

"We're all a brotherhood," said Emfinger. "It's always tragic when firefighters die in the line of duty, but it's especially tragic when there's nine at one time."

And so to pay their respects, firefighters came dressed in black shirts, black ties and something even more symbolic.  All Savannah firefighters heading to the memorial service will be wearing mourning bands over their badges.

"We cover the badge to honor our fallen brothers," said Savannah Fire and Emergency Services battalion chief Stanley Mosley.

"To show solidarity at this time," said Emfinger.

As they packed their cars heading to Charleston, some couldn't help but think of how dangerous their line of work is, yet how fortunate they have been.

"An incident like that can happen in any city," said Mosley. "We've been blessed here in Savannah that it has not happened here."

Firefighters said the last time a firefighter died in the line of duty in Savannah was 1991, and these firefighters want to keep it that way.

Savannah fire officials said they are talking with Charleston city government, offering to help in any way.

Reported by:  David Hall, dhall@wtoc.com