Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Community remembers fallen firefighter

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Community remembers fallen firefighter
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A Delaware County community came together Saturday to remember a man who spent his life always putting others first. Hundreds gathered to say their final goodbye to Franklin Assistant Fire Chief James Wilber. Our Alexa Green tells us how he will be remembered.

FRANKLIN N.Y. -- It was a day to celebrate and honor the life of a man who spent more than 35 years helping others.

"I can't think of a better person, a better volunteer, extremely dedicated to not only the fire service, but the community in general," said Daniel Branigan, Chairman of the Franklin-Treadwell Board of Fire Commissioners.

On Saturday, hundreds of community members and firefighters said their final goodbye to Franklin Assistant Fire Chief James Wilber. Wilber died last weekend in the line of duty from a cardiac event while responding to a car accident.

"If I had to say, Jim would have loved going out that way. He always jumped out of bed and was ready to go at a moments notice," said Franklin Fire Department Chief Tom Worden.

"It takes a very special person to get up in the middle of the night and go help someone they don't even know, and he was an integral part of that entire brotherhood,"Branigan added.

Following the service, firefighters gave a final salute to Wilber's family. They say Saturday's turnout was a true example of firefighter comradery

"I've seen patches here as far away as Mineola on Long Island and its heartwarming and extremely emotional," added Branigan.

While he may be gone, the Franklin Volunteer Fire Department says Wilber will never be forgotten.

"Jim will be with us mentally. Jim will be with us in our hearts, in our decision making, and he' s never really gone," said Worden.

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