The fallen firefighter will be remembered at a helmet blessing ceremony Wednesday night at Taylor Hose & Engine Company #1 on Union Street. Besides a permanent marker outside the firehouse that remembers Mr. Czerw, volunteer firefighter Maureen Slovenkai wanted to hold a helmet blessing in his honor. "We started taking it to the other firefighters and they immediately said let's do it. And it's been overwhelming," said Mrs. Slovenkai.
A plaque on Taylor's Ladder 95 memorializes Joseph Czerw. The helmet blessing in his memory is designed to protect all firefighters who may be in harm's way. More than 200 people, mostly firefighters, are expected to attend the ceremony. A priest will bless the helmets of the brave men and women who put their lives at risk each time they answer the call. "It also brings awareness that, you know, like it could happen again and it kind of keeps them on their toes a little bit," said Mrs. Czerw. Mrs. Slovenkai added, "It's respect for Joe. It's remembering him and also a reminder to us it could happen at anytime to anyone."
The helmet blessing ceremony will include bagpipes, a firefighters' procession and prayers. The event Wednesday, Feb. 27th at 7:30 p.m. falls on the 31st anniversary of when Firefighter Czerw was killed.