Marine Park community members unveiled two “buddy benches” at a neighborhood elementary school on Wednesday, commemorating a former student — local firefighter Steven Pollard — who fell to his death in January while attempting to rescue car crash victims on a Mill Basin bridge.
Neighborhood residents helped raise funds to install the benches at the PS 207 schoolyard, where “children who are feeling lonely can go to find a friend,” said school secretary Jessica Scarfogoliero, who saw the benches as a fitting tribute to the fallen hero.
“Firefighter Pollard’s bench will not only provide a fitting memorial for the friend we’ve lost but will serve as a reminder that Steven was a friend to the PS 207 community, where he lived and served,” she said.
Students are urged to lookout for students sitting on the new benches, and to keep them company — as they may be in need of a friend, according to Scarfogoliero.
The memorials — which Scarfogoliero helped commission along with the other faculty — are inscribed with the words “In Loving Memory of Steven Pollard, FDNY.”
Pollard — a 30-year-old veteran of Canarsie’s Ladder Company 170 — fatally fell 52 feet after slipping between a 3-foot gap separating opposing traffic lanes while attempting to cross to the Brooklyn-bound side of the bridge in a heroic rescue effort.
“Steven was everything we want in a firefighter — strong, smart, hard-working, dedicated, and above all else, brave,” Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the firefighter’s funeral earlier this year.