Firefighters from Hamilton and Wenham are helping cover Peabody fire stations on Thursday as Peabody firefighters attend the wake of a fellow firefighter.
Peabody Firefighter James Rice died last Thursday fighting a fire on Russell Street in Peabody. His wake is Thursday afternoon and his funeral is on Friday.
The Essex County mutual aid system has organized station coverage, lead by Chief Kevin Farrell, for all four of Peabody’s stations for Thursday and Friday.
On Thursday afternoon, Engine 404 and a crew of four firefighters is covering Peabody Engine 7’s station on Lowell Street in Peabody, according to Wenham Chief Bob Blanchard.
Since the Wenham Fire Department is made up almost entirely of paid call firefighters who have other full-time jobs, Blanchard said many of them took time off from work and rearranged other commitments in their life to man the cover truck and attend the funeral.
On Thursday night from 6 p.m. to midnight, Engine 3 is covering the Peabody station on Tremont Street, according to Hamilton Fire Chief Phil Stevens.
A Peabody Police officer will join the out-of-town firefighters as a “pilot,” to help them find their way around the city.
Fire departments in southern Essex County are covering Peabody stations on Thursday and departments from northern Essex County – places such as Amesbury and Newburyport – will cover on Friday.
“They wanted people who are close to be able to attend the funeral,” Blanchard said. “We all seem to pull together when you have to.”