SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Two Sacramento Fire Department firefighters from decades past will get their names added to the California Firefighters Memorial outside of the State Capitol thanks to the years-long effort of a current Sacramento Fire Captain.
For the last four years,Captain Christopher Harvey has dug through old records to prove that the deaths of Sacramento firefighters Manuel J. Vero and Harvey N. Farncomb occurred while on duty.
“I felt that it was important to recognize that these men had died while on duty, of causes that are now universally recognized as being line-of-duty deaths,” Harvey said to FOX40, citing the reason he began this investigation.
Vero died of a heart attack in 1936 at Fire Station 3 and Farncomb died of a heart attack in 1951 at Fire Station 2, according to Harvey.
According to Harvey, heart attacks were not considered line-of-duty deaths until years later when departments began considering the impacts that a firefighter’s duties can have on their cardiovascular system.
“In modern times, if a firefighter had a heart attack while on duty, it would automatically be considered a line-of-duty death,” Harvey said.
Harvey learned about the on-duty deaths of these two men from a series of records from Sacramento Fire Captain Harvey Heiser, who worked for the fire department in the 1930s through the 1950s, Harvey said.
From there, Harvey said he searched obituary records, service records, old photographs and old newspapers to piece together these two men’s stories.
“I have been deeply interested in the rich history of the Sacramento Fire Department since I first joined the department in 2002,” Harvey said to FOX40 . “Our department honors our heritage in a number of unique ways, and our department core values are ‘Honor, Courage, and Devotion to Duty.’”
Getting these men’s names added to the memorial is also in line with the fire service’s motto of “Remember Fallen Brothers’, according to Harvey.
Vero and Farncomb’s names will be added to the California Firefighters Memorial on July 30 along with two other Sacramento Fire Department firefighters that recently died while on-duty:
- Firefighter Tamara Thacher (Died in 2019 from job-related cancer)
- Firefighter Conrad Weisker (Died in 2008 from job-related cancer)
This will be the first time in the history of the ceremony that the Sacramento Fire Department will add four names to the Memorial Wall, according to the fire department.