FDNY Firefighter Steven Pollard Dies after Fall From Belt Parkway

AM New York - January 08, 2019

by Nicole Brown

Steven Pollard, 30, was only on the job for a year and a half, officials said.

FDNY members are mourning the death of a firefighter who fell more than 50 feet from a bridge in Brooklyn Sunday night, according to officials.

Probationary firefighter Steven Pollard, 30, of Ladder Company 170 in Canarsie, was responding to a two-car crash on the Belt Parkway's Mill Basin bridge at about 10 p.m., officials said. He and other members were on the eastbound side of the roadway and needed to cross over to the other side to reach the victims, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

As Pollard was crossing, he slipped through a 2.5- to 3-foot gap between the two sides and fell about 52 feet, Nigro said.

He was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital Center. The medical examiner said Pollard died of multiple blunt impact injuries and ruled his death an accident.

Pollard, who had been on the job for a year and a half, comes from a family of FDNY firefighters, Nigro said. His father is a retired firefighter from Ladder Company 102 in Bedford-Stuyvesant and his brother is an active member at Ladder Company 114 in Sunset Park.

“It's a terrible loss for the department, to lose a member just at the beginning of his career like this is devastating to us,” Nigro said at the hospital.

A bunting ceremony for Pollard was expected to happen at Ladder 170 on Monday. A U.S. flag hung above a handful of colorful flower bouquets in front of the Canarsie fire station. A few candles were set below.

Earlier Monday, firefighters gathered to salute Pollard as his body was transported through the city in a ceremony called "dignified transfer."

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who joined the commissioner at the hospital, ordered all flags in the city to be lowered to half-staff.

“(Pollard) devoted his life to the people of our city, like his brother, like his dad, he 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,” de Blasio said.

Pollard lived with his parents in Marine Park, according to a next-door neighbor.

“They're the best,” said Jackie Afflitto, 33. “Amazing, you can't ask for better, really.”

Afflitto, a nurse, said the tight-knit block was devastated by Pollard’s death.

“It's a hard hit for us,” she said.

With Nicole Fuller and Alison Fox