Rick Farley lived in Prince George, but served the entire world. The firefighter/paramedic succumbed to cancer on June 11. He was 43 years-old. Farley was currently serving at Fort AP Hill Fire Department.
On Thursday, June 15, hundreds turned out at Nelson Funeral Home in Hopewell (Va), to say their final farewell and pay tribute in true firefighter family fashion. Fire officials, medics, rescue squad members, firefighters, law enforcement, family and friends from departments across Virginia showed their support with honor flags stretched across high ladders on fire trucks, to a huge fire and rescue vehicle procession containing nearly a hundred apparatus units.
Farley began his firefighting career in Prince George, serving at Prince George Company One and Jefferson Park Number Five Stations. Farley's service then extended to federal firefighting status at Fort Lee where he served for 17 years. He then was assigned to Fort AP Hill Fire Department.
"Rick had a problem with names," Fort AP Hill Chief Daniel C. Glembot said. "He had a problem saying them and remembering them, so his firefighting buddies decided to help out in a true firefighting family way. They began to all introduce themselves as Steve and just add their last names. So everyone to Rick was Steve."
When Rick became sick, Glembot explained, the firefighters who covered his shift just used the name Rick. In the spirit of their camaraderie they continued just calling themselves Steve, so everyone was either a Rick or a Steve.
Chief Glembot paused a moment then quietly said, there is no way to count the endless number of lives Rick Farley saved or touched. He was an inspiration to us all.
"As soon as you met Rick you were his friend," Chief Glembot reflected. "In five minutes you knew him, in ten minutes you knew his life story. He was just that way. All he wanted to do was serve and he did. Everyone was his friend and he was a friend to everyone."
"The service on Thursday with the firefighter, rescue crew procession was the largest I have ever seen," said Deputy Fire Chief Martin Martinez of DSCR Fire Department. "It was amazing, but it just showed how much he was loved and respected."
The procession was estimated to be nearly two miles long.
Farley was laid to rest after being carried for a last ride on the back of an antique fire engine to Sunset Memorial Park in Chester.
Farley was preceded in death by his father, Gary Max Farley, and was a firefighter and paramedic with 20 years of Federal service, volunteer for Prince George Company One and Five, Prince George Fire and EMS, Ft. Lee Fire and Emergency Service for 17 years and his current assignment was to Ft. AP Hill Fire and Emergency Service.
He is survived by his wife, Valerie Farley; son, Jared Farley; mother, Dorris Farley; sister, Denise Farley Andrews and husband, Allan; nieces, Brooke and Taylor Andrews; uncle, Terry Harrison and wife, Sandy; sister-in-laws, Debra Asbeil and husband, David, Christy Bradley and husband, Brian, Amy Lovings; nieces, nephews, friends and co-workers.
Memorial Contributions may be made to Jefferson Park Volunteer Fire Department, 4225 Jefferson Park Road, Prince George, VA 23875 or Bon Secours Hospice, 5875 Bremo Road, Suite 710, Richmond, VA 23226.
Condolences may be registered at: www.nelsenfh.com