WORCESTER, Mass. — Fallen Worcester firefighter Lt. Jason Menard is being honored for his sacrifice in two new ways. Lt. Menard, who died in the line of duty in November, is the recipient of the 2020 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award – a national commendation. Locally, a Worcester public safety group is adding his name to a public memorial.
William Breault is with the South Main Alliance for Public Safety, a group honoring sacrifices of firefighters and remembering the deaths of community members dating back 30 years.
“I’ve lived here all my life, I know people that are on there […] who died,” Breault said.
Breault’s granddaughter read aloud the names of residents and firefighters who died due to fires, ending with Lt. Jason Menard.
“I think this demonstrates the impact that fire has on the community,” said Deputy Fire Chief Martin Dyer
While the gesture is out of respect and kindness, Dyer said that being there was sad.
“To be perfectly honest with you, it hurts to put another firefighter's name on this memorial,” he said. “And we're going to work very, very hard to make sure we don't have to do that ever again.”
Dyer added that people need to be safety-minded to avoid fires, starting with working smoke detectors, and clearing pathways in and out of their homes.
“We've been coming across it so much lately where second exits and egresses are blocked, impossible to get in and impossible to get out,” Deputy Chief Dyer said. “This makes for a very dangerous situation.”
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