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'No question about his bravery': Union president remembers firefighter Jason Arno

Buffalo Professional Firefighters Local 282 President Vincent Ventresca addresses the media one day after Jason Arno died in the line of duty.
Thomas O'Neil-White
Buffalo Professional Firefighters Local 282 President Vincent Ventresca addresses the media one day after Jason Arno died in the line of duty.

While expressing their deepest sympathies to the family of firefighter Jason Arno who lost his life battling Wednesday’s four-alarm blaze in downtown Buffalo, Buffalo Professional Firefighter’s Local 282 Union President Vincent Ventresca remembered Arno as a dedicated and well-liked individual.

“For myself I've met him numerous times and I've had the pleasure of working with him a few times,” he said. “And I can just see his face and it's just that smile and he was always a great guy to be around.”

There are preliminary talks of giving Arno the Line of Duty Death, the highest honor for a fallen firefighter.

“There was no question about his bravery,” Ventresca said. “He was willing to sacrifice. It’s a powerful message that all members know that everyone is out there doing the best they can and putting their life on the line for citizens.”

With outpouring of support for Arno, Ventresca said the union is working to provide a streamlined process to monetarily support for Arno’s family.

“This is a young member on the department, new to the department, newly married, young child, so we just want to have a direct avenue for people to make donations," he said.

This includes Zelle and Venmo pages and Ventresca said the family will also receive support through benefits through the state. Donations information will be shared through the unions Facebook page and Buffalo Firefighters.

Firefighters on hand to fight the blaze are receiving peer to peer counseling through the union and City of Buffalo and counselors through the International Association of Firefighters.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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