N.Y. firefighters say victim died doing exactly what he wanted to do
Members of the Deer Park, N.Y., Volunteer Fire Department attended Thursday’s funeral in Salisbury for Victor Isler, one of two Salisbury firefighters to die in a March 7 fire at Salisbury Millwork.
Isler had been a volunteer with the Deer Park department for five years.
A New York native, Isler moved to Harrisburg last year and became a full-time firefighter with Salisbury in June. He was previously an FDNY emergency medical technician and a volunteer with Deer Park Fire Department in New York.
A joint funeral service for Isler and Justin Monroe, 19, of Spencer was held at Catawba Colege’s Omwake-Dearborn Chapel in Salisbury Thursday.
“His dream was to do this kind of work and be able to support his family,” Philip Scarfi told a Newsday reporter.
Scarfi is a New York city firefighter and captain of the Deer Park volunteers.
“He knew the dangers involved,” Scarfi told Newsday. “Someone who’s familiar with the dangers and is still willing to get involved ó it’s a small breed of people.”
The newspaper said Isler was an electrician by trade. He worked as an EMT for the New York City Fire Department from 2005 to 2007.
After he joined the Deer Park department in 2002, he immediately became known as a prankster and a father figure to the department’s younger recruits, Newsday said.
“They all kind of followed behind him like little ducklings,” Assistant Chief James Mare told Newsday. “He was always the first guy to get his hands dirty and complete the task.”
The Deer Park department gave him a send-off last June. Isler, 40, came South to fulfill a dream of being a full-time firefighter. He was too old to become one in New York. The cutoff age was 29 for rookies.
Isler will be buried Monday at the St. Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale, N.Y.
The service will be at 11 a.m.
A visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Sunday at the Christopher T. Jordan Funeral Home, 302 Long Beach Road, Island Park, N.Y.
Isler is survived by his wife, Tracy, a 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.