FDNY Firefighter Dead after Fall from Bridge

NY Post - January 07, 2019

by Joe Marino and Larry Celona

An FDNY firefighter died Sunday after falling from the Belt Parkway’s Mill Basin drawbridge in Brooklyn — where he was trying to save two injured motorists who flipped their car and got trapped.

Steven Pollard, 30, a probationary firefighter with Ladder Company 170, was attempting to reach the victims on foot — and was crossing over from the eastbound lanes to the westbound lanes, where their vehicle was — when he fell to the ground below.

Fire officials said Pollard plunged 52 feet as he tried to traverse a gap in the road. It’s unclear, though, if he knew the gap was there when he tried to go across. The Mill Basin bridge was recently rebuilt, and now features a 2½- to 3-foot-wide space between each side of the highway.

“It’s a very sad night here in our city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at an early Monday press briefing. “[Pollard] was trying to do such a good and important thing and it’s just really painful to see him as we did in the hospital room.”

De Blasio noted how Pollard had less than two years on the job and came from an FDNY family — his brother, Ray Jr., works as a firefighter in Brooklyn and sources said his dad, Ray, is a retired firefighter.

“What makes this even more painful is this is a family that’s served our city for decades,” said de Blasio. “[Pollard] devoted his life to the people of our city, like his brother, like his dad.”

Following the accident, family and members of his company converged on Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“It’s an incredibly sad night for the Pollard family, for the Fire Department family, for our city,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “One and a half years on the job, Steven Pollard had, just starting out, [ended] his life tonight in the process of helping others.”

The last time an FDNY member was killed was last March, when Michael Davidson, 37, died while fighting a blaze in a Harlem building that was being used as a set for the Edward Norton and Bruce Willis film “Motherless Brooklyn.”

In a statement, Nigro said Pollard is the 1,151st member of the FDNY to die in the line of duty.