MERIDIAN -- The bond firefighters share was on full display today as an Eagle Fire truck carrying the body Brandon Erickson led fire department vehicles from all over the valley in a funeral procession to Erickson's final resting place.

Hundreds gathered Tuesday to honor and celebrate the life of a local fire captain.

Brandon Erickson, 36, served as a firefighter, paramedic, training instructor, and volunteer for many local agencies.

Erickson hurt his back while working as a Meridian firefighter last year.

Last week, he went in for a minor surgery to help fix his condition and died from complications.

All those who served with him came out Tuesday to show respect for the life he lived.

As the service began, so did the salutes.

Fellow firefighters, officers and paramedics were honoring one of their own. Two servicemen stood guard next to Erickson s body as they have every minute since his death.

His big hands taught us how to heal, said Meridian Fire Chief Mark Niemeyer.

Niemeyer was emotional as he spoke about Erickson's passion to help others -- his spirit of serving.

Those are the virtues that don't go away, those are the virtues that will live on in every single one of us as we go out tomorrow and every tomorrow to come, said Niemeyer.

The church was packed with people who worked with Erickson and those who loved him, even young family members.

We celebrate his life, we celebrate who he was and what he meant to each one of us, said Pastor Doug Connelly.

His passion stretched beyond his boots and helmet to his family, as well his wife and two kids.

He took great pleasure in being a father, he loved you Bonnie, Megan and Jack with all his heart, and it was awesome seeing the amount of energy he put into being a husband, said friend Rob Shoplock.

As everyone here celebrated the 36-year-old man who gave everything for others.

With that Brandon I say to you, rest easier brother, we have it from here, said Niemeyer.

In lieu of flowers, an account has been set up in Brandon's name at Idaho Central Credit Union for anyone wishing to help the family.

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