The City of Plattsburgh said goodbye to one of its own, a retired firefighter, whose life was cut short due to cancer.
The illness is believed to be linked to his work at Ground Zero immediately following 9/11. Scott LaFlesh served over twenty years in the Plattsburgh Fire Department, and in the days after the September 11th terrorist attacks, LaFlesh helped with the recovery efforts.
He was among the many who suffered medical complications, and just a week ago he died from cancer.
The City of Plattsburgh Fire Department, along with other Vermont emergency service departments, came together at the Methodist church in Plattsburgh to honor LaFlesh.
“It was important just to honor Scott, because of his cancer he had acquired during his career, it was considered a line of duty death, so we wanted to treat it with the respect that he should have, and for the sacrifices that he made,” said Scott Lawliss, Fire Chief in the City of Plattsburgh.
Fire Chief Lawliss, along with other members of the city and county fire departments, were in New York City with LaFlesh to help with 9/11 recovery efforts.
Lawliss said they were in the city for about 48 hours and did whatever they could to help.
“Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot we could do, so we ended up doing a lot of transport, so we ended up doing a lot of transport of the crews that were coming off the pile,” he said. “So our ambulance was used and we would transport them to fire houses, because their transport at 9/11 had shut down, it was chaotic, so they just needed to get people off the pile.”
During the ceremony, the city fire captain spoke about the kind of person LaFlesh was.
He worked more than anyone at the station to provide for his family, he enjoyed playing pranks on the other firefighters, playing disc golf, and he loved Star Wars, and the Buffalo Bills.
Chief Lawliss spoke about what his favorite memory of LaFlesh was.
“We had a large snowstorm, and during that we increased staffing, Scott and I thought it would be alright, we were not going to be riding on the ambulance, we were going to be in the TV room, there was a Christmas tree in the TV room,” Lawliss said. “After about 20 minutes he broke out into singing Christmas songs, at which I could not stop laughing the entire night.”
While the family chose not to speak on camera, they said anyone looking to support the family or honor Scott should go through life the same way he did, by serving others, telling your family you love them, and of course, rooting for the Buffalo Bills.