BUFFALO, N.Y. — Firefighters from across North America were in Buffalo on Friday to pay respect to Jason Arno and his family.
From as far away as California, Florida, Maryland, and Virginia, thousands were in attendance to hold the line outside St. Joseph Cathedral before and after the funeral.
Several hundred Canadian firefighters from Toronto and other departments across the Niagara River were also in attendance.
"It's something that we take dear and near to our hearts, it makes sure that the families understand the brotherhood is real, the sisterhood is real," Captain David Caruana said. "We're all here for support."
Captain Caruana is a North Tonawanda native but serves in the Prince William County Fire and Rescue in Virginia. Several members of his department are Western New York natives.
"As soon as it happened, there was immediately a group text going on in my department," Captain Caruana said. "We were all making travel arrangements."
The same can be said for members of the Baltimore Fire Department, who wanted to be here in Buffalo to return the favor to their colleagues in the Buffalo Fire Department.
"A little bit over a year ago, we lost three of our own in Baltimore, and Buffalo was a big supporter," Mike Sehley of the Baltimore Fire Department said. "They came out of Baltimore, and there was a lot of support."
Across the Niagara River, an estimated 200 members of the Toronto Fire Department attended Friday's funeral service. Several other Canadian firefighters also made the journey.
"It's really hard to pick the right words, but we're a family," said Aaron Barker, a member of the Brantford Fire Department.
"Nobody hopes for this, but it's kind of comforting to know that if it does happen, your own family, friends, no matter where this happens, the same outpouring of support will happen," Barker said.