Two South Bend firefighters being recognized at Indiana Fallen Firefighters Ceremony
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The 2021 Indiana Fallen Firefighters Annual Remembrance ceremony will be held at the Indiana Law Enforcement and Firefighters Memorial in Indianapolis at 11 on Friday morning. This year specifically, 8 firefighters will be honored, and have their names added to the wall, and of these 8 firefighters, 2 served for the South Bend Community.
In 2014, Joshua Comeau was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor and told he had 14 months to live. The first-class firefighter and father of six beat the odds for nearly 5 years before losing his life at the age of 41. He was a 12-year member of the fire department and known for his spirit and faith. He inspired many, even running a 5k in full fire gear on the one-year anniversary of his first surgery.
He alongside with fire Captain Dave Koehler will be recognized in Indianapolis, but their presence is always felt at SBFD
“Both of them were great firefighters, positive attitude through everything they were going through. They would talk to you, lift you up, if you needed something like that throughout the day, just great teachers,” says Ryan Takacs, Public Information Officer for SBFD. “Their presence is still felt, and greatly missed by all who were here and had the fortune of working with them.”
Captain Dave Koehler served the South Bend Fire Department for more than 3 decades. The South Bend native first joined the department in 1987. In 2016, he was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 55. After a long fight, in 2019, he lost his life to the battle. But even through his suffering he remained in service, switching his time to ‘desk duty’ which exemplifies his passion and dedication to the fire department. Captain Koehler was known for his desire to always be learning and training.
"Just to never stop training and learning. We work in a career that you can never know too much, and when you think you know it all, you can get in trouble and get someone hurt. So we were always out training, always out learning looking for something to do, so no matter the weather was like we were always out learning. He was adamant about that, and he kept it fresh and exciting. That is something I like to carry over in whatever position I am and tackle on a day to day basis,” says Takacs.