Kennedy, Smardz Present Big Tree Fire Company with Legislative Resolution in Honor of Life and Service of Firefighter Jarrett Eleam

Timothy M. Kennedy

July 29, 2011

Lieutenant Eleam died earlier this year following training exercise

BLASDELL, N.Y. – Following the tragic passing of Big Tree Firefighter Jarrett Eleam, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed a legislative resolution honoring the life and service of the fire company’s lieutenant at the urging of Senator Tim Kennedy and Assemblyman Kevin Smardz along with the Western New York delegation.

Kennedy and Smardz presented the Big Tree Fire Company with a framed, engrossed copy of the resolution at their recent company meeting. Joined by the men and women who served alongside Lieutenant Eleam, Smardz and Kennedy expressed deep gratitude for the sacrifices made and risks taken by volunteer firefighters every day to keep Western New York safe.

"Firefighter Jarrett Eleam worked hard to protect his neighbors – responding to a very impressive volume of calls throughout his time with the Big Tree Fire Company. He was truly committed to keeping Western New York safe,” said Senator Kennedy. “I was honored to sponsor this resolution in the Senate, and I thank our legislative colleagues for joining us in recognizing Jarrett Eleam and everything he gave to our community.

“As we recognize the life and service of Lieutenant Eleam,” Kennedy added, “let’s also extend our thanks and appreciation to all of the hardworking men and women who make such great sacrifices every day to serve as the first responders to tragedies and crises across our state and nation.”

“Firefighters and first responders across Western New York, and those here at Big Tree, selflessly put their lives at risk for our safety,” said Assemblyman Smardz. “Lieutenant Eleam truly exemplified this dedication. We honor the life and valor of Lieutenant Jarrett Eleam, as well as the Big Tree Fire Department for their continued commitment to our community.”

Lieutenant Eleam died earlier this year after falling ill during a training exercise at the fire hall. Eleam, a native of Pittsburgh, was 26 at the time of his death. Prior to his passing, he was promoted to the position of Fire Prevention Lieutenant. He was a top responder for Big Tree, answering 480 calls in 2010. In the 74-year history of the Big Tree Fire Company, Eleam is the first member to die in the line of duty.