Webster (WSYR-TV) - Thousands of first responders from around the nation and as far away as California attended funerals for two West Webster Fire Department first responders who were killed in last week's Christmas Eve ambush.
Among those who ventured to the Rochester area were many firefighters from the Syracuse area.
30 Syracuse Firefighters boarded a bus to Rochester on Monday to say goodbye to 19-year-old Tomasz Kaczowka
. Yesterday, firefighter and Webster Police Department officer Michael Chiapperini was laid to rest.
“We want to reach out and let them know we support them and this brotherhood is a very tight-knit family,” said Lonnie Johnson. “So that’s why it’s important that we go and show support.”
“If it happens to one of them, it’s like happening to one of us,” said Mark Hatch. “Yes, it is on our own time, but we don’t look at it that way. It’s something we wouldn’t want to miss.”
Many of the firefighters who traveled to Rochester on Monday were at work on Christmas Eve when they learned of the incident in Webster.
"It could happen anywhere. There's many times we go on calls thinking it's routine, just a fire, not knowing who is on the other end,” said Johnson.