Brooklynites awoke Monday morning to the news that a firefighter had fallen to his death the night before while responding to an accident on the Belt Parkway.
According to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, 30-year-old firefighter Steven Pollard — a member of Ladder Company 170 with a family legacy of firefighting — was killed while responding to a multiple-car accident at the Mill Basin Bridge on the westbound Belt Parkway that occurred on Sun., Jan. 6 at around 10 p.m.
“One car flipped over, two seriously injured males in one of the vehicles, the members of 170 had responded in the opposite direction, on the eastbound side and needed to cross over the roadway to assist the injured motorist,” he said in a press conference. “And then in the process of crossing over, Steven fell [through a gap, 52 feet] to the ground below.”
Pollard was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital.
During the conference, Nigro said that investigators were looking into whether ice was a factor in the accident, and whether the ongoing construction at the site played a role in the incident.
Tributes to Pollard — who had been on the job for a year and a half — poured in.
“It’s an incredibly sad night for the Pollard family, for the Fire Department family, and for our city,” Nigro said. “He lost his life tonight in the process of helping others. 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. He is the 1,151st member of the Bravest to give his life in the service of the people of this city. As his family mourns him, the department mourns him, and certainly the citizens of our city mourn him.”
“It’s a very sad night here in our city,” added Mayor Bill de Blasio. “What makes this even more painful is this a family that has served our city for decades. Firefighter Pollard’s dad was a longtime member of the FDNY; his brother’s a member of the FDNY. This is a family that has done so much for New York City and now they’re going through this loss.”
“FDNY Firefighter Steven Pollard embodied the spirit of ‘New York’s Bravest,’ a spirit he gathered from his family and their decades of service to our city,” said Borough President Eric Adams. “Firefighter Pollard had so much more to give New York City at just 30 years old, and it is up to all of us to help live out his legacy of protecting and serving our fellow New Yorkers in need.”
“Steven was an example of an exemplary firefighter and young man who placed service to his community above all else,” said Uniformed Fire Officers Association President Jake Lemonda. “Firefighters like Steven place their lives on the line everyday while carrying out the duties associated with this very dangerous job. Though he had only been on the job a short time, his distinguished impact on his firehouse will be his eternal legacy in the Fire Department of New York, and we will forever honor his memory by following the example he set.”