Two killed and two others injured after a shooting in Webster, NY on Christmas Eve. All four victims had one thing in common: conquering fires as a career. Following the tragedy in New York, local departments here in Nebraska had immediate reactions once the tragic news broke worldwide.
"I have no idea. I don't understand it for one thing. Same goes for the shooting in Connecticut. It's a very twisted and evil person that would do something like that," said Terry Eirich, fire chief for the Kearney Volunteer Fire Department.
It is that twisted act that now has departments on edge, including KVFD. Eirich admits that right now, his department may not be well-prepared for that sort of situation.
"We're very lucky in this part of the country. We don't normally have something like this happen to us, so we may not be as prepared as we should be," said Eirich.
Moving forward, he knows that future training will involve a heavier focus on safety.
"In our next training, we'll probably make sure, and suggest to all of our members, to pay more attention to our surroundings and look out for each other, which we do already, but especially because of this. You're going to do a little more looking around," said Eirich.
Finding those things that may be out of the ordinary are things no one can completely prevent from appearing.
"You know there really isn't any way to be completely prepared for someone that does things like this. There's no way to plan for what they might do," said Eirich.
Not knowing what one may do is not stopping first responders in New York, nor those here in Nebraska, from doing what they love to do.
"I think we just need to keep reminding our firefighters to make sure to look around and be suspicious of things," said Eirich.