Video: Fallen FF Timothy Klein gave powerful eulogy for FDNY colleague in 2019

"We lost a true hero that night,” he said about Steven Pollard


Leonard Greene
New York Daily News

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — He could have easily been talking about himself.

Firefighter Timothy Klein, who died while battling a blaze in Brooklyn on Sunday, delivered a powerful eulogy for a comrade who died in the line of duty in 2019.

FDNY members salute as the body of Firefighter Timothy Klein is removed from Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn on Sunday.
FDNY members salute as the body of Firefighter Timothy Klein is removed from Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn on Sunday. (Photo/Gardiner Anderson/Tribune News Service)

The firefighter now tasked with Klein’s tribute won’t have to stray far from Klein’s script.

“I was with Steve the night he passed,” Klein told mourners at Good Shepherd Church in Brooklyn’s Marine Park in 2019. ”Steven Pollard died not thinking for himself but trying to help others. We lost a true hero that night.”

Pollard, 30, a second-generation probationary firefighter, fell to his death from a Belt Parkway bridge in Brooklyn while responding to a car crash on Jan. 6, 2019.

On his way to rescue two men trapped by the crash, Pollard tried to get from the westbound side of the highway to the crash scene in the eastbound lanes. But he was unable to clear a 3-foot gap between the two sides of the bridge, which was recently rebuilt, and fell about 50 feet into a construction site.

“Stevie, it breaks my heart knowing the days working alongside you are over,” Klein said during the eulogy.

Like Pollard, Klein, 31, is gone too soon. He died Sunday — Pollard also died on a Sunday — while fighting a three-alarm fire in Canarsie when the building’s ceiling collapsed. The six-year veteran was rushed to Brookdale University Hospital but could not be saved.

Klein, who was also a second-generation firefighter, was remembered as a brave selfless hero, words he used to describe his fallen friend.

At Pollard’s funeral, Klein rattled off a checklist of qualities that make a good firefighter: Being on time, attention to detail, eagerness to learn.

“Even when spoken to, Steve did not speak,” Klein said in his eulogy. “Public speaking or speaking, in general, was just not his thing. But that drew us to him even more.”

Klein fought through his own discomfort speaking at the solemn occasion. He nervously rocked back and forth and stammered several times as he struggled with a speech he never imagined he’d have to give.

“Another thing I found on the checklist was fearless,” Klein told the crowd. “As firemen, we are faced with many dangerous situations. And even in Steve’s short career he responded to many dangerous calls, and performed the duties expected of him to perfection. He was an officer’s dream.”

Click "Watch on YouTube" to view the video below.

 

©2022 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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