In the early hours of March 23, 35-year-old volunteer firefighter Jared Lloyd with the Spring Valley Fire Department in New York made the ultimate sacrifice.
Evergreen Court Home for Adults in Rockland County had caught on fire, and Lloyd was one of the responders helping elderly residents escape the blaze.
At some point, the building collapsed, and both Lloyd and a resident ended up perishing. Several other firefighters and residents were injured in the fire.
“NVFD mourns the Line of duty death of FF Jared Lloyd, of Spring Valley Fire Department in Rockland County,” the Newington Volunteer Fire Department posted on Facebook on March 24. “FF Lloyd made the ultimate sacrifice performing rescues in a nursing home fire early Tuesday morning.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and FD family.”
“Jared Lloyd gave his life in service to others,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day said, according to KSAZ-TV. “He searched as the building burned determined to rescue anyone who may have been trapped.”
“His loss is devastating. There is no other way to put it. But I will tell you this: His loss and his heroism will never be forgotten.”
The hero firefighter leaves behind two sons: Logan, 6, and Darius, 5.
The day after he died was 6-year-old Logan’s birthday. At the time, Logan did not know his father had passed away, but he’d made a birthday request that Lloyd’s comrades were more than willing to grant.
“No one had to answer that call, but people answered it and they stepped up,” Matthew Boney, a firefighter who planned the event, said. “They made that happen for a little kid.”
Dozens of vehicles showed up to celebrate the little boy in a parade that lasted 40 minutes. They all filed past the boy’s home, keeping a cheerful attitude.
“Logan Lloyd, the son of Rockland County Firefighter Jared Lloyd, who tragically lost his life on Tuesday, turned 6 a day after,” the Newington Volunteer Fire Department posted on Friday, along with an aerial shot of the trucks and cars waiting in a parking lot.
“He wished for a fire truck parade for his birthday. This is what he received.”
The outpouring of love and support must have heartened the family — it was a celebration of Logan, but it was also a way to honor Lloyd. Lloyd’s father knows the news is going to be incredibly tough on the kids.
“That’s what hurts me so much, that those boys are going to miss him,” he said of Logan and Darius. “They loved him so much. They loved him as much as I loved him.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Lloyd’s sons, and so far people have donated over $570,000 for their future needs.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.