A beloved Brooklyn firefighter drowned in frigid Lake Tahoe during a desperate attempt to save his 10-year-old son, who was fighting to stay afloat in the choppy waters after suffering a leg cramp.
Martin Simmons, 41, a 17-year-veteran out of Bedford-Stuyvesant's Ladder Co. 111, was lost in the murky tide before rescuers could reach him.
His exhausted brother-in-law had also jumped in to help, and was barely treading water as he gripped the child, who had lost consciousness, witnesses said. Both were rescued, and the boy had to be resuscitated. "It was the biggest waves I've ever seen on the lake," said area resident Anthony Battezzato, 18, who helped bring the survivors to shore. Monday's tragedy came two weeks into Simmons' long-anticipated vacation to spend time with his wife, Judi's, relatives in Nevada. "He was so excited about the trip," Ladder 111 Capt. Steve Berube said of the doting father of three sons. "This is extremely difficult for us." The family had been cruising on a 20-foot boat when they stopped for a swim. The boy, Kevin, jumped into the water - where the temperature below the surface was about 52 degrees - just after 4 p.m. and quickly cramped up. "All we could see was a man and a boy in the water," Battezzato said. "People on the boat started screaming, 'Help! Help!" Kevin was "motionless" and "his uncle was dead tired," the teen said. "We didn't know until 15 minutes after that there was another person down." Simmons' body was flown to JFK yesterday. "I loved him. He will be missed," said firefighter Joe Honan, a 15-year colleague. Simmons, who lived in Nesconset, LI, lost five firehouse colleagues on 9/11, and served as the master of ceremonies during each anniversary. He coached his sons' baseball teams and "lived for those boys," Berube said.
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07-25-2008, 07:15 AM #1
FDNY - Fireman Martin Simmons Ladder 111ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
LT. John Ginley Engine 40
FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40
"If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
07-25-2008, 09:22 AM #2
- Join Date
- May 2002
- Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
My deepest sympathies to the firefighters at Ladder Co. 111 and the Simmons family for their sad loss.
Sleep in the arms of the angels, Martin.
07-25-2008, 12:13 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
A wake for Martin Simmons, 41, of Nesconset, will be held Saturday and Sunday at The Branch Funeral Home, 190 E. Main St. in Smithtown, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm and 7:00pm to 9:00pm each day.
A funeral Mass will be said at 9:45am Monday at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, 95 Nichols Rd. in Nesconset.
07-25-2008, 09:27 PM #4
I read this in our local newspaper, as he lived nearby. So sad. My condolences to his family.
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ny...,1491059.storyWhat if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
07-26-2008, 06:22 AM #5
He died as he lived...Heroically!
May he be at peace with God and may his family, friends and colleagues rest assured that he is in Heaven, and is always watching over them!
God bless the Simmons family!
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