BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — Final farewell. Hundreds gather for a funeral of a Bel Air volunteer firefighter who died trying to help someone else.
Rochelle Ritchie has more on Erik Steciak’s life and death.
Friends and family members of Captain Erik Steciak say he dedicated his life to helping others.
It was a foggy and rainy Sunday afternoon as hundreds came to pay their respects to Captain Erik Steciak, a paid paramedic with the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, who died after trying to reach a woman in need of help.
“Like all of you, I’m incredibly saddened by Erik’s sudden passing, for I saw him as you did–an incredibly talented, personable young man with a tremendous future ahead of him,” said Chief John Butler, Howard County Fire Department.
It was on a winding narrow road in Harford County where tragedy struck. A woman had run off the road and crashed. She walked to a nearby home, where the homeowner called 911.
“When the fire department got to that location, they determined the road was too dangerous to pass with their response vehicles and they wanted a four wheel drive vehicle,” said Rich Gardner, Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company.
A four wheeler with a plow came to clear the road, but it started to slide down the ice, ultimately hitting Steciak and killing him.
“Like the heroic men and women of 911 and firefighters everywhere who have given their lives trying to save those of others, Eric has now done the same.”
Steciak’s twin brother, Daniel, spoke to the crowd, saying while they went on their different paths in life, their bond was never severed.
“Meeting some of you for the first time has been difficult but also comforting because it is clear that he touched countless lives for the better,” he said.
Hundreds of firefighters traveled from near and far to honor the 29-year-old.
Steciak took his final ride on the back of a fire truck. Behind him, a line of emergency vehicles followed him to his final resting place.
“I know that I will see him later–in my thoughts, in my dreams and every time I hear the wail of sirens in the distance. So Erik, I’ll see you later,” Steciak’s brother said.
Captain Erik Steciak was also a volunteer firefighter in Howard County.