Midwest firefighters honor Kody Vanfossan - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Midwest firefighters honor Kody Vanfossan

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CHRISTOPHER (WSIL) -- Dozens of fire departments, and hundreds of firefighters came together to honor their fallen brother, Kody Vanfossan. Some traveled hundreds of miles to pay tribute to the 24-year-old firefighter.

One of those is McCutchanville Fire Department, which is just outside of Evansville, Indiana. McCutchanville Fire Chief Nick Adams, and three firefighters hit the road at 7 a.m. to be a part of the funeral procession for Vanfossan.

"It's important to celebrate the life of the individual that has died in the line of duty," Adams says. "There's this ultimate honor that we pay as firefighters to someone who has fallen in the line of duty."

Although the firefighters didn't know Vanfossan, they are friends with others on the Christopher Fire Department and wanted to be a shoulder to lean on. 

Firefighter Kimberly Scott, a captain for Sesser, also attended to show her support. Scott arrived on scene about an hour after the mayday May 5 call for Vanfossan, "I was really hoping and praying it wasn't real."

She says that she didn't know Vanfossan personally but worked alongside him and his father, "Very devoted firefighters. That's their life. Usually when you're a firefighter like that you eat, sleep and breathe firefighting."

Another local firefighter to remember Vanfossan is Mt. Vernon's Chris Yenne. "You remember the fallen brothers. You show up. The duty, pride, and tradition of the fire service in general. This is part of the tradition," he says. 

Yenne also believes that firefighters coming together is a sign of respect for the families of fallen firefighters. 

Scott adds that it's a sad day for the fire world, but all the firefighters are in it together.

Firefighters traveled from as far as Kansas City, Kansas and DeKalb, Illinois to attend Vanfossan's service and procession. 

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