Fallen firefighters honored at Whitmer basketball game

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Fallen firefighter Stephen Machcinski was a 1989 graduate of Whitmer High School. At Friday night's basketball game, he was honored, as well as James Dickman.

At every future athletic event played at Whitmer's field house, a flag will be unfurled from a box with Machcinski's name, rank, year of graduation, badge number and the words "Hero Remembered."

The idea for the flag was embraced by district leadership after Machcinski died battling a north Toledo apartment building fire with fellow firefighter Dickman.

"We have core values in the district, and firefighters live up to those by putting themself before others," said Superintendent Patrick Hickey. "The little bit we can do here is let the community know how we feel about him."

The ceremony was called 'Heroes Remembered - Firefighters Honored." Several Toledo firefighters attended. They're still dealing with the loss of two brothers.

"It's not just something you can flip on and off with a switch," said Acting Deputy Chief Rick Syroka. "It's something that takes these types of moments when we can gather, celebrate Stephen and Jamie's life and, at the same time, the rest of ours."

Machcinksi's parents were at the ceremony, but preferred to stay out of the limelight.

Instead of a moment of silence, there was a moment of celebration for the lives of the two fallen heroes.

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