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Three Men to Remember

March 23, 2009 - Patrick Comer
I never new Paul Dube’ Paul Lindbergh or William Ziegler. And yet, on Friday March 27th I will pause in my day to think about these three men and the legacy they leave behind. William Ziegler passed away 1/18/81 from a heart attack while fighting a brush fire. Paul Lindbergh died from a heart attack 6/23/98. And Paul Dube’ passed away 3/27/07 after battling cancer. So, three times a year, on the anniversary of each firefighter’s death you will see this special flag flying at all five fire stations in the Lehigh Acres Fire District.

Every year on January 18th the honorary flag is flown to remember William Ziegler who died while fighting one of many brushfires being set in Lehigh by an arsonist. “ “Bill had retired here from FDNY and somehow found himself back in the fire service,” says Assistant Chief Jeff Haugh. “He loved it,” says Haugh. “It was a bitterly cold January night and these fires just kept coming,” Haugh recalls. “We would knock one down and someone would start another one somewhere else in Lehigh. It was rough. Ziegler gave his life making sure everyone’s home stayed safe that night.”

On March 27, 2007 Paul Dube’, the Public Education Officer from the Lehigh Acres Fire and Rescue District passed away after a long battle with cancer. “Paul Dube’ was a hardcore family man,” says LAFD Lt. Terry Dettmar. “He loved teaching. He was actually one of the first, if not the first Field Training Officer with the department,” he says. Many teachers, students and firefighters still fondly remember Dube’s dedication to teaching. The flag will fly every March 27th to honor the work of Paul Dube’.

“Paul Lindbergh was very particular about his work,” recalls Battalion Chief John Wayne. “He was the nicest guy in the world and he would do anything in the world for you,” says Wayne. The flag will honor Lindbergh June 23rd, the anniversary of his death.

I suppose each of us, as we reflect back on our lives, hopes that in some way we made a difference, that our family, our community, the people around us are better off for knowing us. We hope we counted for something, hopefully something good and important. The families of these three men can find some measure of comfort knowing their father, husband or son spent their life protecting the lives of others in the community. That is good. It is also important.

So, come this Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. all five of Lehigh Acres Fire and Rescue fire stations will fly the honorary flag. If you’re driving by one of the fire stations and you notice another flag on the pole give a thought of thanks to Paul Dube’, Paul Lindbergh and William Ziegler, firefighters to the end.


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