Worcester, Massachusetts fire lieutenant Jason Menard is a married father of three who loved his family and his job. On Wednesday, November 13th, he gave his life for his fellow firefighters, who are now trying to ensure that his family is taken care of.
According to local news reports, Worcester firefighters responded to a four alarm fire in the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 13th. Firefighters initially believed that a mother and baby were trapped on an upper floor; however, it was subsequently learned that both the mother and baby had made it out of the building before the firefighters arrived.
Believing that two lives were in danger, Menard and his fellow firefighters rushed into the burning building. After attempting to find the mother and baby, firefighters struggled to leave in the confusion, haze, and smoke. Menard first escorted a probationary firefighter to the stairs so he could escape. Menard then pushed fellow firefighter Chris Pace out of a window, likely saving his life. Because of the time he spent saving his fellow firefighters, Menard was unable to escape himself and tragically died.
Worst of all, Menard was scheduled to depart for a Disney vacation with his family just hours later.
Now, many people in Massachusetts are stepping up to help make sure this fallen hero and his family are cared for. An organization called the Tunnels to Towers Foundation has promised to pay off Menard's mortgage. The City of Worcester has also established a memorial fund called the Menard Children's Fund to benefit his kids. The NHL's Boston Bruins also promised to donate half the proceeds from a recent raffle to Menard's family.
If anyone else wishes to help donate to Menard's family, they are encouraged to donate through the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts webpage, where they have set up a donation fund that will support Menard's wife and children, or through the Tunnels to Towers Foundation website.
Lt. Menard joined the fire department in 2010. The cause of the blaze that took his life has not yet been determined. His funeral has been scheduled for Monday, November 18th in Worcester, and will be accompanied by a procession of fire trucks that will pay Menard and his family their respects.