Today we honor the life and sacrifice of Valley Springs volunteer firefighter Steven Ackerman, who paid the ultimate sacrifice while trying to save another.  He was laid to rest April 19, 2015.

38-year-old Steven Ackerman was part of a team of firefighters responding to a house fire in the 100 block of Fir Street in Brandon, SD on April 12, 2015.  It was a rescue mission as well, with one of the residents still inside.

According to Fire Chief Don Johnson of Valley Springs, two firefighters entered the burning home, then Ackerman.  There was a huge ball of flames shortly thereafter.  The first two firefighters came back out, but Ackerman could not be accounted for.  He was later found in the basement, possibly having fallen through the floor as it collapsed to the basement.

April 19, 2015 procession of Firetrucks and emergency vehicles were parked across three lanes, side by side which stretched for over 5 blocks as of Holly Avenue in Brandon as firefighters from across the area joined to honor their fallen brother.

Dana Price explained why it was important to drive to Brandon for the procession.

“We’re from Mitchell South Dakota. My wife and I drove over, just to be in the procession line for this man who passed away trying to save somebody else and try to show respect for firemen."

Flags were flown at half-staff and many people showed their support by leaving their porch lights on throughout the night last night.

Lennox Fire Department Chaplain Frank McNeil says it’s important to show support.

“This is one of those days you hope never comes but when it does come, it shows the brotherhood and sisterhood of the fire service…every fire department throughout the nation feels that loss.”

1,500 firefighters alone attended the service. Many homes participated in the Lights On  campaign to show support for the family by leaving their house exterior lights on throughout the night.  See a photo journey of this last week of honoring Steven Ackerman on our website.