Fire Dept. Names Rescue Boat For Fallen Firefighter
By Nancy Rineman
Hampton Union, Tuesday, October 16, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- A full complement of Hampton's Fire & Rescue turned out to honor the memory of Bryan J. Litchfield Sunday morning, as Marine One, the Fire Department's rescue boat, was dedicated in his name.
Litchfield was fire inspector in Hampton when he died on Aug. 22, 1993, following an injury suffered while investigating a fire in 1989. He was 46.
Firefighters formed a long line along the Brown Marine Pier. On the dock, Litchfield's family — his wife, Cindy, daughter, Kate, son, Bryan, and their families — stood solemnly as the Rev. Peter Lane of Trinity Episcopal Church delivered the invocation. Former Hampton Fire Chief William "Skip" Sullivan shared reflections of his friend.
"Bryan touched a lot of people's lives, most of whom never met him or knew him," Sullivan said.
Litchfield was promoted to fire inspector in 1987.
"Bryan was becoming a good investigator and it was in this capacity that he fell through a floor while investigating a condominium fire that not only ended his career, but ultimately ended his life," Sullivan said.
Fire Chief Hank Lipe read a citation authorizing Marine One to be named the Bryan J. Litchfield, "in honor of Hampton Fire Inspector Bryan Litchfield, a 12-year veteran of the department who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty on Aug. 22, 1993." Following placement of flowers by Lipe and the Litchfields, the family was escorted along the pier for the retirement of colors by the IAFF Local 2664 Color Guard.
"Today would have been Bryan's 61st birthday," Cindy Litchfield said, following the ceremony. "The family is just so overwhelmed that this (ceremony) happened. We are filled with gratitude that they remembered him in such a wonderful way."
She said her family's biggest fear was that her husband might be forgotten. Litchfield's daughter, Kate, stood with her husband, Ben, and their twin boys, 3½-year-olds Bryan and Ben, along with Kate's brother, Bryan Jr., and his wife, Gretchen, and 4-month-old daughter, Addison.
"We are so honored, and we know that my dad is smiling down, watching everything that's happening. He, too, is honored," Kate Litchfield said.
"It's been a long time coming," said retired Hampton Fire Capt. Rusty Bridle, adding Litchfield's love for the water made the morning's tribute all the more positive an act.
"After 14 years, the guys still remember Bryan, and it's really nice," Bridle said.