- Posted February 27, 2009 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
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Firefighter Killed In Crash Laid To Rest
Funeral services were held yesterday for Stockton Firefighter Derek North who was Killed while responding to a fire call Monday. North's wife Ruby was driving another fire truck just behind him when, he was cut off by a truck crossing highway 84. North was killed instantly and his twin brother critically injured.
Despite this tragedy Ruby has shown us just how special the firefighting family is. Thursday night she volunteered to drive one of Stockton's apparatus to the funeral home as part of honoring her husband life and dedication to his community. At his funeral she saluted her husbands coffin and then gently kissed her hands and placed them on top. Derek's twin brother managed to pull his strength together to say farewell to his best friend and brother. While sitting upright in a gurney Ruby held his hand and watched over her injured brother in-law. Showing her gift for helping others. After goodbye's were said. Chad was wheeled out back to a waiting ambulance. With Ruby holding his hand making sure he was ok all the way, taking care of her two children and trying to stay strong for Derek's family. The love the North family has given it's community was returned by many. The funeral precession was 7.5 miles long. Made up of Police units, fire apparatus, honor guards, many friends and family. At the crossing where he was killed two ladder trucks from Valdosta GA raised and crossed their ladders for the precession to pass under in the memory of Derek while another Valdosta firefighter played the bagpipes. At the graveside services The Valdosta fire department honor guard formed a line and prepared to play Tap's. During the ceremony Ruby was handed a certificate with Derek's name stating he had passed his EMT class. Just one more way the North family wanted to help their neighbors. From Kingsland to the Atlanta they came to remember Derek's dedication. The funeral closed with Lanier County dispatch center sounding the Stockton Fire Departments tones, calling out his assigned radio number 206 three times. With a cracking and shaky voice the dispatcher then said "this is the last call for Stockton firefighter Derek North lost in the line of duty on Monday he is gone but, n not forgotton. Not a dry eye was to be had, not even by me. The sounding of a bell five times then rang, It represents firefighters are now home. In he distance three fire apparatus sirens gave a short burst as one last tribute to Firefighter North. God Bless the North family. You truly are remarkable people.
A fund has been set up to help the family. Those wish to help may send donations to Lanier County Fire Department. P.O Box 68 Lakeland Georgia 31645