POMPANO BEACH (CBS4) – Funeral services will be held this Friday for a Pompano Beach firefighter who died after falling off a 100-foot ladder during a climbing exercise.
The service for William “Bill” Elliott will be held at the Calvary Chapel located at 2401 W Cypress Creek Road in Ft. Lauderdale at 12:30 p.m.
There will be an official fire service funeral procession which is expected to be sizeable. The procession will begin at Citi Center in Pompano Beach, pass in front of Pompano Beach City Hall on West Atlantic Boulevard and finally arrive at the chapel.
Elliott, a member of the department since 1989, was a respected firefighter, his colleagues said.
“As one of his officers, going into work on a day that he was there you knew you were going to have a safe day,” said Lt. Joe Rogers. “It’s just a sad time for everybody.”
Friend Amy Dosher said Elliott was an avid outdoorsman.
“I can definitely say that one of the best days I’ve ever had in the state of Florida (was when) Bill had us out on his airboat and it was just phenomenal,” she said.
Fire Chief Harry Small said his firefighters train often on the ladders, making sure they are confident going up and down when simulating a high stress situation.
“They were doing an exercise that he’d done 100 times,” said Small. “We don’t know exactly what happened up there he was one of the most skilled people and responsible people we know.”
The chief said all safety regulations were followed. He said Elliott was using a harness during the ladder climb but as trained, he unhooked to come down the ladder. He was near the top of the ladder when he fell.
Fire investigators are trying to figure out what went wrong. City leaders said this is the first time a Pompano Beach firefighter died on duty.
Elliott leaves behind his parents, a brother and a sister.