By Michelle Durham
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands will gather in the Northeast as the wakes for Philadelphia Firefighters Robert Neary and Daniel Sweeney begin later Friday.
Local 22 President Bill Gault says the funerals will be massive. “I expect about 2,000 to 3,000 firefighters from across the United States and Canada here and probably two hundred to three hundred pieces of apparatus.”
One of those pieces of apparatus will be from the Wissahickon Fire Company in Ambler Pennsylvania.
“We all stand by side by side,” says Skip Urban, deputy chief or the Wissahickon Fire Company. “Whether it’s in our own hometown or the City of Philadelphia, it doesn’t matter.”
Logistics for the funerals (which engines or ladders will be used in the processions, uniformed personnel assignments to the wakes) are all being coordinated through the Philadelphia Fire Academy.
The Philadelphia Police Department will lend assistance too.
“Very unfortunate that we have experience in departmental deaths,” says Lieutenant Ray Evers. “So, we are helping out with some of the arrangements,” including a highway patrol escort from St. Cecila’s Church to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Cheltenham on Saturday.
Motorists should expect road closures in and around St. Cecilia’s Church on Friday night and Saturday.