Surrounded by over 100 firefighters, over fifty Kern County sheriff’s deputies–and even everyday citizens—the Kern County Fire Department said goodbye to Fire Captain Brian Falk. The department announced the death of the county firefighter veteran of two decades, Thursday.
“When you’re with the fire department, you’re a part of a family. We’re here to support you. You’re never alone. We processed with him from Fellows, all the way to KMC,” Fire Chief Aaron Duncan said. “It probably took 45 minutes, but the helicopter [flew] over the hearst, the whole time. He was never alone. The Honor Guard was with him, the whole time. Never alone.”
County fire is also making sure the rest of the department is not alone either. It's been a tough week for the KCFD family. Monday, firefighter Aiden Agnor also died, which is two deaths in one week, which Fire Chief Duncan said, is “unheard of.”
“The fire family, We are coming together, but we are hurting,” Duncan said.
Fire Chief Duncan said their critical incident stress management team is checking in on their department family. They’re not the only knees. Duncan has received calls from their fellow academy members from all those years ago, other county agencies, and fire departments across the state.
“I’ve received calls from Sacramento, from the metro fire department, Ventura County, LA County, Bakersfield City, Cal city, all saying ‘chief, when you have a funeral, whenever that is, give us a call and we’ll staff your stations,” Duncan said. “We want to make sure you can attend that event.”
More than professionally, Chief Duncan knew Captain Falk personally,
going through the fire academy together–side by side. He saw him go from cadet to fire captain in six years, which Duncan says is not common. Duncan describes Captain Falk as smart, a great fireman, and a family man.
“He has a wife and two sons, they were the love of his life. When you think of Brian, he wasn’t a big, tall person. He was a shorter person, but he was big in stature,” Duncan said. “When he walked in a room, you knew he was there. His smile could light up a room. I can still see the grin on his face, and I still smile every time I think about it.”
Fire officials said they would not yet speak about the circumstances surrounding Captain Falk's death.