“I used to say that my little brother, Ed, was the only person I knew whom actually grew up to be what he wanted to be when he was 5 years old. But, in the last few months, I have met several firefighters who said the same was true for them, as well. As Ed’s “big Sister”, whenever I had to find him in the neighborhood, the very first place I would check would be the Fire House at the end of our block. He was almost always there, helping the fire guys wash the trucks, or polishing the chrome. He spent the rest of his life in the Fire Service, he loved learning AND teaching, and was always working on making sure everyone goes home. When his daughter chose to attend Western Michigan University, Ed couldn’t help himself, he had to check out the Fire Department, and discovered that Comstock Township was looking for a chief.
To my chagrin (I was really going to miss him!), and delight, ( he was SO happy!), he got the job!
Comstock Fire and Rescue was perfect for Ed, he reveled in his new community, and they embraced him right back. He finally had the job that he was born to do! I just wish he could have had the chance to do it a lot longer. But Heaven must have needed a Hero on June 14, 2017. Ed was a truly decent and sincere gentleman, wanting only to help other people, whether they were citizens or co-workers, his first thought was always, “How can I help?”
I know I am more than a little prejudiced, because Ed is my Brother, but he lived his life doing what he loved, and he did it well, and I am so, so proud of him!?
-Nora Switalski DePaola, Ed’s sister