Brookfield VFD Capt. Jim Richmond and auxiliary member Debbie Elliott place wreaths while Fire Capt. James Williamson rings the fire bell during a memorial service for members of the police and fire departments and auxiliary.

While the memorial service for the members of the Brookfield police and fire departments and Brookfield
Township Volunteer Firemen’s Auxiliary who have a died is a time to honor those of the past, this year’s
ceremony had just as much emphasis on the unknowns of the present and the future.
The service, held May 23 in the Brookfield Center gazebo, had been held annually until it was canceled in
2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fire Chief David Masirovits said the pandemic has weighed
heavily on himself and other safety-service workers.
“Unfortunately, I can stand here and tell you stories of this past year, as I’m sure each of you can also, of
those who have died and suffered the death of a loved one that can be contributed to the pandemic,” he
said. “It is not been an easy time for anyone. For me, personally, I was and I am still scared.”
For firefighters, who are ever ready to enter a burning building to search for a missing person, and head
toward a catastrophic event while others run away, the nature of infectious disease has given them reason
to pause before acting, the chief said.
“How do you tell a paramedic or a firefighter that, for once in their career, they’re going to have to put
themselves before others; that, if they don’t, they may never go home to their families again,” Masirovits
said. “The strain of this pandemic has worn on us physically, psychologically and socially, and will
continue to affect us the rest of our lives. We are a changed world.”
promoThe chief said the pandemic period has been a time of intense inner reflection, and the desire to reconnect
with those around him.
“I can only hope and pray that we move forward, healing our wounds and acknowledging our scars,”
Masirovits said. “I also dream of a time when we don’t have so much personal conflict and hopelessness
in our world. I am scared moving forward. The prospect of divide and upheaval in this country and in this
world is ever present. I pray for healing and restoration. I pray that we find the love for one another, just
as I spoke earlier, about the love and admiration we have for those persons we memorialize both this day
and every day. I pray for recovery of lost friendships, the repair of bonds broken, the mending of
affiliations, and the overall benevolence of mankind.”
Police Chief Dan Faustino is a fourth-generation policeman, and credits that tradition and the values that
go with it for his long service in law enforcement, which includes 30 years just in Brookfield.
However, as a society, the nurturing of that tradition is slipping. People who once considered a career in
law enforcement are now opting for others. Faustino sees the tradition as one of service, sacrifice and
selflessness, but that view is not being shared as it once was.
“We struggle to replace those who lose their lives in service, retire or just walk away from public safety
profession,” Faustino said. “This is impacting communities both large and small – even affecting our
community. Law enforcement is constantly changing and evolving, probably moreso than other
professions. When I see what is a critically low number of people who are choosing to join the dwindling
ranks of law enforcement to this point, we need to support and encourage those who are thinking of
joining this noble profession to make that commitment. We are honoring those we have lost, and what
better way to honor their sacrifices than to work hard to attract candidates with the same qualities as they
had to carry out our proud tradition of service.”
The service included a reading of the names of fire department and auxiliary members who have died, and
Ohio police officers who have been killed in the line of duty over the past two years, readings of the fire,
police and auxiliary prayers, and the placing of memorial wreaths.