Unfortunately, I did not have the honor of meeting Firefighters Dickman and Machinski of the Toledo Fire Department. However, from the many stories and tributes I’ve read and watched on TV, I know exactly what type of person these gentlemen were and I have no doubt their legacy will live on for decades to come.
How do I know this? For the past six years and more I’ve had the privilege of working closely, sometimes daily, with the men and women of the Port Clinton Fire Department. As I heard and read the many stories and memorials of these two fallen heroes’ lives, I saw in these stories the faces of the members of our local fire department.
Dickman was a dedicated family man with two small children, experienced in the fire service and yet eager to learn more. Machinski received many awards for his years of service including the highest award given to a firefighter – an award for saving a life. Both Firefighter Dickman and Firefighter Machinski were fearless in their duties, strong enough to know their limitations, held unwavering trust in the fact that their fellow firefighters would have their back under any circumstance and dedicated enough to their community to move forward as others were stepping back.
These are the exact same characteristics and personality traits I see every time I step foot in the Port Clinton Fire Station. Although the helmets may not read Dickman and Machinski, these are the same traits that make each member of our local fire department special. For those that will someday call upon the PCFD for assistance, you can be assured that the dedication of service demonstrated by Firefighter Dickman and Firefighter Machinski will be continued by their extended family of brother and sisters. There is absolutely no doubt that these two individuals will be honored in thought, action and memory each and every day the PCFD is called in to action.
Thank you Firefighters Dickman and Machinski for your service and may God Bless and protect those called to continue your unfinished fight.