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“David Laforge”


555 Fitness Hero WOD

1.3K 12
  • For Time
  • 30 Bear Complexes (155/105)

One “Bear Complex” consists of the following (unbroken, without dropping the bar):

1 Power Clean
1 Front Squat
1 Push Press
1 Back Squat
1 Push Press

Athlete may put the bar down and rest between complexes.

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namesake photo
This Firefighter Hero WOD is dedicated to David LaForge, FDNY, Ladder 20, who was killed on September 11, 2001.

David LaForge, 50, fighting fires was a childhood dream. An ocean lover, he taught nephews and niece to bodysurf, helped his family whenever he could. Like so many of his fellow heroes, David LaForge, a 24-year veteran of the Fire Department, was done with his shift when the terrorists attacked the World Trade Center. But when Ladder 20 in Manhattan got the call on Sept. 11, this seasoned driver jumped in his beloved fire engine and raced downtown to the Twin Towers. Mr. LaForge was seen last on the 35th floor of Tower 1, helping others get to safety, and remains one of the missing from the attack.

For his family, his is a life come full circle from his childhood days of pretend. From as early as his mother, Ethel LaForge can remember, her son daydreamed of rescuing people from fire and calamity. "He always played fireman when he was young," said Mrs. LaForge. "We have pictures of him as a child with his fire helmet, the garden hose, and a toy fire truck."

Mr. LaForge was also a member of his company's emergency medical team and was assigned to a decontamination truck in Manhattan. But it was his job as senior chauffeur that he cherished most. "It was one of his dreams," said Mrs. LaForge. "He stayed with the company because it was his pride and joy to drive the ladder truck."

A lifelong Port Richmond resident, Mr. LaForge graduated from McKee High School and later attended college in upstate New York. His love of the road inspired him to save his money and leave his studies after two semesters. He later purchased a truck, which he used to work for North American Van Lines for a year before becoming a firefighter in 1977. Mr. LaForge frequently drove all across the United States for long periods of time, his mother said. He enjoyed life on the road because he was able to see the country.

He was dedicated to his close-knit family. Being single enabled Mr. LaForge to help his uncles, Thomas Syvertsen and Edward Malokie, and his aunts, Alice Malokie and Janet Salzberger. He enjoyed carpentry and yardwork and was looking forward to retiring, especially because he would have time to renovate his two homes.

In addition to a house in Port Richmond, he also bought one several years ago in Island Heights, N.J., a few blocks away from his parents, and a short ride from the sea. Mr. LaForge was an ocean lover, and his older sister, Jane Schwerd, has many memories of him teaching her children, William, Frederick, and Meghan, to bodysurf. "He loved to be in the water," she said. "He loved riding the waves, and he would take the kids out and let them ride in on his back."

She also remembered his longtime love of firefighting, and specifically, of driving and maintaining the truck. "He loved taking care of it," said Mrs. Schwerd. "He also took a lot of pride in getting to the site of a fire as quickly as he could. It was something he really cherished."
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