EAGLE – Those in the Treasure Valley firefighting community are still trying to grasp the loss of 36-year-old Brandon Erickson, a fire captain with the Eagle Fire Department.
Erickson was a husband, a father of two, and a friend to hundreds in the community.
He died this week after complications during a surgery. Those close to him said he injured his back on the job two years ago while reaching down to pick up a bag of medical equipment.
Eagle Fire Chief Mike Winkle said recently Erickson decided to have one more surgery.
“It was going to be a minor procedure," said Winkle. "(He) went in for the procedure was released that night. I still haven’t digested it, and I don’t think I ever will."
Chief Winkle first met Erickson years ago when they worked together at the Star Fire Department. The two immediately formed a bond.
“Yeah formed a bond that I just throught 15 to 16 years later, would never end,” he said.
Chief Winkle described Erickson as upbeat, straight forward and passionate about firefighting. He said he was always looking for new ways to make the department better and more technologically advanced.
“I think anyone who spent any time with Brandon was a pretty good bud with Brandon, I mean he is just one of those guys,” said Winkle.
He tells KTVB that Erickson always wanted to be a firefighter, since he was a little boy.
“Brandon wanted to wear a fire helmet he wanted to be a fireman,” said Winkle.
Erickson also worked for five years with the Meridian Fire Department before coming back to work for Eagle.
Chief Mark Neimeyer said that decision was a hard one for Erickson to make.
“Brandon and I had several conversations about it,” said Niemeyer. “It was a very difficult decision for him.”
Although those in the firefighting community mourn Erickson's loss, those who knew him tell KTVB his mark on this community is not gone.
“Brandon may not be here today but he does live on because he trained so many of us, because he gave us a piece of him, and because he has a five-year-old son, who wants nothing more than to be a fireman and we are going to make that happen," said Niemeyer. "He still lives."
A memorial service for Erickson will take place at noon on Tuesday, November 26th. It will be held at the Eagle Christian Church.