LANSING — State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) hosted Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal President Chris Swartz and honored two fallen firefighters from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Beartown Firefighters, at the Michigan House of Representatives’ Sept. 11 recognition ceremony today. Alan J. Swartz and James Shelifoe Jr. were traveling with their fellow firefighters to Utah to help fight the Box Canyon Fire when they died as a result of an automobile accident.
“Firefighters never hesitate. They run into extremely dangerous situations to fight fires and save people, and when another community anywhere in the country needs their help, they pack up their gear and head out with no questions asked,” said Dianda. “That is what Alan Swartz, James Shelifoe Jr. and the Beartown firefighters were doing when the accident took place: heading to Utah to help fight a fire. Alan and James were taken from us too soon, but we will always remember and honor them for their dedication to their job and their community, and their selfless act to help others in need.”
The Michigan House of Representatives holds the Sept. 11 ceremony annually to commemorate those lost in the 2001 attacks and to recognize first responders serving in Michigan communities today.