Funeral for a Firefighter


Dallas Fire-Rescue Lieutenant Todd Krodle was only forty one years old when he died valiantly fighting fire last Sunday. He left behind a wife and two kids, ages 10 and 13.

This morning, my very own Dallas firefighter husband and I attended Lt.Krodle's funeral. An approximate 2,000 mourners were in attendance. Firefighters came from all over the nation to honor a man who lost his life doing what he loved.
Mourners eulogized Lt. Krodle as a man who loved God, his family and his job. Known for his solid work ethic and stamina, putting others needs before his own and practical jokes. Character traits that so many firefighters share. Who else would run into a burning building when everyone is running out?

Lt. Krodle died while attempting to ventilate a roof of an apartment during a fire.

Firefighters "ventilate" by climbing up a ladder onto the roof of a burning building while wearing approximately 75 lbs of gear (coat, pants, boots, helmets, air tank etc.). They typically use an axe or operate a chainsaw and cut through a roof in order to create an escape for the noxious gases and smoke from a fire. Imagine balancing yourself  on a roof, enveloped in thick smoke wearing 75 lbs in gear. Now think about the various weather conditions you could be exposed to. Sometimes it's ice, sometimes its rain. Last Sunday, it was 103F.

My husband has always assured me that The Dallas Fire Department trains its personnel very well and is confident that the equipment and technology used is first class.

Unfortunately that due to the very nature of his work, people will die. A sobering thought.

Bagpipes were played as Lt. Krodle was placed on his own Station truck, manned with the men and women who he had worked with.

At the end of his funeral, bells tolled in a pattern based on an original method of firefighter communication - the telegraph. Known as "tapping out", the telegraph operator would "tap out" the word "fell" with five measured dashes, a pause and then repeated two more times.

Solemnly, the sound of bells tolling five times, pausing then repeating two more times are heard at the gravesite and transmitted simultaneously on all fire radio frequencies and to all station houses.

Then silence. 

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Heather said...


There are few words.

Thank you so much for sharing this. It is really well written. I could hear the silence and the bells even as I read it.

It may be made even more touching to me as I spent much of the last few days with a guy I went to high school with. He's a fire fighter in northern Indiana. He looked me up on Facebook as he apparently had a bit of a crush on me for a while in high school.

It was a good weekend. Hopefully there will be more of them. He's a very special man. But if there's not, at least we've had these few days and he's brought me back a bit of my creativity.

Hopefully you'll be able to read about it on my blog.

Again, thanks for sharing such a touching post.