The Apopka Fire department released the following statement and announced the funeral arrangements for Firefighter/EMT Austin Duran. The City of Apopka also announced in its weekly Apopka Proud newsletter that flags in Apopka would be lowered to half-staff until Saturday in honor of Duran.
"As firefighters, we are trained to have courage and strength where others do not. We are conditioned to be the light shining in the darkest of nights. To us, there is no greater calling than this. The impulse of a firefighter to help is not a lonely impulse, but it is shared and agreed upon in every department conversation, every shared meal, every training drill, and every company meeting. There is only one reason to wear the uniforms of our departments, and that is to be there when we are needed. If you were to ask any fireman what their biggest fear is, it will never be running into a burning building, or rescuing a child from an accident.
We are living our worst fear now, our worst nightmare come true. Our strength and courage sapped dry. It is difficult to convey how much gratitude we feel for the overwhelming outpouring of support from our community. They have been our strength, our courage, and our light shining in our darkest night. From providing meals, visits to the stations, phone calls, and messages all to encourage and uplift us in a time when we are unable to find strength and courage for ourselves. The hearts that have gathered around us are pulsing with their concern, support, and love for us. It is impossible to articulate words that would ever carry the true depth of how thankful we are for each and every single person who has touched our lives.
The wave of courage that has been outstretched to us will carry us on to the solid earth once again, and stabilize our footing. It has sustained us and brought us comfort and peace. We ask that you line the processional path as we say our final goodbye to our brother and friend Austin Duran."
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