This past Sunday someone I’ve known for quite some time died in the line of duty. During ice rescue training on the Exeter River.
His name is Harold Frey. He was working for the Hampstead Fire Department as a Firefighter/Paramedic. He’d been with Epping Fire before that, and I worked with him when I was at Rockingham. We’d both moved on since then; he went to CarePlus not too long after I went to Cataldo.
As the title says, this one is tough to write. I hadn’t seen Harold in a while; the last time, I think, was while I was on medical leave. Martha and I ran into him and his girlfriend Mimi at one of the local watering holes. It was good to see him then. Hell, it was always good to see him whenever we crossed paths. He was a really nice guy. Friendly. Outgoing. Loved his family, especially his daughters. He was a biker. And I remember this outrageous coffee mug with a Confederate flag that he had. It was big, and it was usually full.
He was good at what he did. He had a lot of experience dealing with all sorts of situations, and he had a cool head on his shoulders. It was always reassuring to see him on scene if there was a multiple casualty situation because he never got ahead of himself. Many of us appreciated that about him.
Probably some of the fondest memories I have were debates that would take place among a number of us – including Harold – about the Civil War (he’d often respond with, “no – it was the War Between The States!”). He knew a lot about the history surrounding that time period, and he was often spot on whenever facts were called into question. That always impressed me.
In any case, his wake and funeral are this coming Thursday and Friday. I don’t know if I will be able to go to the calling hours because I am working. I know our department will be represented, though, so I’m not worried about that. Also, the funeral service is to be held privately. So I will do my best to remember him in my own way.
May you rest in peace, my friend.
Harold F. Frey, NREMT-P
November 7, 1964 – January 16, 2011
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let Perpetual Light
Shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.