Community Bids Farewell To Fallen Firefighter

FACTORYVILLE — A funeral for a veteran firefighter who died in the line of duty took place Monday in Wyoming County.

Russell Gow was laid to rest near the community where he served.

Truck after truck, firefighters, EMTs, police were all in Factoryville to say goodbye to Assistant Fire Chief Russell Gow.

“This man was, he was one of us, he was one of our brothers, and boy, I’ll tell you, it’s so hard,” said dive rescue specialist Chief Bill White.

Many of the volunteers from Carbondale, Clarks Summit, Dalton, Covington and beyond knew Russell, better known as ‘Rooster’, for decades.

“Russell was just a bear of a man, we had some wonderful times together,” said Chief White.

Gow suffered a heart attack while running a tanker truck at a fire last week along College Avenue. Factoryville volunteers say his passing still doesn’t seem real.

“You look up the street, you think he’s coming back, and that’s what we did all night that night, just kept looking up the street,” said Factoryville Fire Company Assistant Chief Ned Sherman.

Now these men are struggling to say goodbye to Gow the only way they know how.

“Right now the reality is setting in, it’s still, it will continue to hit for quite a while, but what is overwhelming is the support from the other departments and the people around,” said Assistant Chief Sherman.

The close community of Factoryville also stood by, hands over their hearts, as Gow’s casket passed through his hometown one last time.

Community members and firefighters alike vow to keep this man’s spirit alive and work to fill the hole now left behind.

“They’re not forgotten, they’re always there in the back of your mind and on occasion you’ll say well what would he have done?” said Harford Volunteer Fire Company Chief Rick Moser.

“We’ll get through it as a brotherhood, we’re definitely a brotherhood in the fire service,” said Clarks Summit Fire Company President David Gilpin.

The funeral procession started at a funeral home in Nicholson, to Factoryville, and to a cemetery in East Benton.

Gow served as fire chief for several years at the Factoryville Fire Company and was scheduled to take that position again beginning in January.

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