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Marathon Response Detailed at Firefighters’ Memorial

Boston Firefighter Edward Kelly spoke of the first response to the Marathon Monday terrorist attack.

"Marathon Monday is a day that we will never forget in this country. It's taught us that no one can break our resolve," Edward Kelly, a Boston firefighter and president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts union, told those assembled at this year's Firefighters' Memorial event in Milford on Sunday, June 2. Belonging to one of the nearby fire companies responding to the attack, he said, "We responded very well."

He detailed the numbers and locations of firefighters already on detail at the Boston Marathon's finish line and those responding to the terrorist attack, noting his own relief upon learning that his wife had crossed the finish line safely before the two bombs went off. "The tradition of service and sacrifice defines what the firefighters' service is," Kelly said.

Fire Chief John Touhey spoke of how recent and projected retirements are changing the face and experience of the local Fire Department, and noted that Mendon responds to calls with seven to nine people, versus the national average of 15. State Senator Richard Moore, D. Uxbridge, spoke of how firefighters basically protect their neighbors' lives and properties, and State Representative John Fernandes, D. Milford, spoke about the stresses of the job.

Selectmen Chairman William Buckley thanked Milford firefighters and EMTs for responding when his newborn grandson – now four months old and thriving – had severe medical problems. "It was very personal," he said of the experience. "I know I speak for the community when I say how proud we are of what you and your families do every day," he said.

Buckley also outlines how he is working with Touhey and Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin to map out radio coverage in all areas of town to identify any "dead spots" and bring forth a spending request later this year to correct those deficiencies.

This year's memorial service was dedicated to retired firefighter Achille Diotalevi, who passed away last September.


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