(Ocala, FL.) Eight Florida firefighters, including West Manatee’s Brian Reed, who gave their lives in the line of duty were honored on Friday, October 11, 2013 at the Florida State Fire College in Ocala, Florida.
Joseph R. Barrett – West Sebring Volunteer Fire Department; Leon L. Benton – Jacksonville Fire Department; John M. Byers, Jr. – Ocean Reef Volunteer Fire Department; James A. Parks – Hialeah Fire Department; Roy Pratt – City of Orlando Fire Department; Brian E. Reed – West Manatee Fire Rescue; Victor B. Scott – Otter Creek Volunteer Fire Department; and Frank A. Smith – Cape Coral Fire Department
CFO/State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater attended the service, as well as Julius Halas, Director, Division of State Fire Marshal. The Manatee County Honor Guard, along with honor guards and pipe and drums corps from across the state participated in the annual ceremony.
Assistant Superintendent Chief Bill Wendtlandt, memorialized Firefighter Brian Reed as follows:
"Brian Reed worked as a firefighter with West Manatee Fire Rescue. He was a wonderful husband, father and friend. As a child, Brian was an Eagle Scout and after graduating High School joined the Marines. After returning home he became an electrician. In 1989 Brian joined the Anna Maria Volunteer Fire Department and in 1995 was hired by that department. In 2000 the department merged with Westside Fire Department becoming West Manatee Fire Rescue.
Brian was well liked within the department and never hesitated to lend a helping hand to anyone. Brian was dedicated to his job and the department. He was always there but behind the scenes, never wanting recognition.
He loved his family dearly and was known to never miss calling his daughters to tell them good night and that he loved them.
Brian is survived by his wife Pamela and daughters Elizabeth and Donna, and grandson Brian.
Brian Reed died in the line of duty on April 10, 2001”.
“This is one tradition of the fire service that we wish was not necessary”, said Barry Baker, Chief, Bureau of Fire Standards and Training, “but we will never forget our fallen brothers and sisters or their families.”