On Wednesday, I was on-shift at headquarters when we caught a run for a possible structure fire. Our engine was 3rd arriving, and the crews on-scene before us had made an excellent knock down of what turned out to be a car fire on a covered car port. Luckily, the fire didn’t extend into the structure and units were able to clear up quickly. On the way back to the firehouse, I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook and saw so many updates about the situation that was unfolding in Boston…
As soon as we returned to the station, all our crew sat down and listened to the radio traffic. We also sat around watching the news coverage, and it was obvious that the situation wasn’t good. It wasn’t too long after that when the news of two firefighters, FF Michael Kennedy and Lt. Edward Walsh, had died in the Line of Duty. With social media and the information in the news outlets today, it doesn’t take long for news to spread…especially when it’s bad news.
Last night, I saw a few posts circulating around about a HERO WOD (Workout Of the Day) that had been created for Firefighter Michael “Dork” Kennedy. I saw that FF Kennedy belonged to a box in MA, CrossFit Together, I knew we needed to honor him in every way possible. As most of you know, I have been an active member of the local CrossFit box, CrossFit Shifty Powers. While there aren’t many firefighters at my box, everyone there has a great respect for each other. Since the workout is typically posted around 8PM the night before, I knew I only had around 15 minutes to get it pushed through to my coaches. Within minutes, the coaches said we would absolutely be doing the HERO WOD: FF MICHAEL “DORK” KENNEDY. The rep scheme was based around the firehouse that FF Kennedy and Lt. Walsh worked out of: Engine 33/Ladder 15.
I came home from work this morning and started digging through all the FD shirts that I had put away. Several years ago, I travelled to Boston and had toured a few stations while walking the city. I still remain in contact with one of the members of Rescue 2 in Boston, which had immediately came to mind as I heard the news. While he was off-duty at the time of the incident, many of his coworkers were operating on the scene. I located my Boston Rescue 2 tee and headed out to the gym.
As I arrived this morning, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The WOD wouldn’t be an easy one, but I didn’t want it to be. This workout was for FF Kennedy and Lt. Walsh, who made the ultimate sacrifice just two days ago. The pain, anger, and sadness that his friends, family, and coworkers are dealing with is something I couldn’t even imagine.
Once all of our members had arrived, I gave a quick back story on the incident for those that hadn’t heard. We also took the time to watch a tribute video that had been posted online:
After the video had finished playing, there wasn’t a dry eye in the gym.
It hit home.
It helped everyone realize the reality of the events that unfolded, and WHY we were honoring him.
The workout was intense and painful; however, it was my honor to complete it in memory of our fallen brothers.
In our line of work, staying physically fit is a necessity. Our job is very strenuous, and requires not only strength, but also endurance. My motivation to hit the box/gym as much as I can is for my personal well-being and my career choice. While it is apparent that physical condition did not play a role in their deaths, FF Kennedy had an understanding of the importance of it. Let’s all continue to pray for our brothers and sisters with the Boston Fire Department, as well as their families and friends.
I’d like to thank all the members of the box for participating. Members across the USA will be doing this workout, and I’m glad we were able to substitute it in. Here are a few more photos from the Memorial WOD: