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Fort Carson Mountaineer

Carson honors fallen firefighter

By Brandy Gill | Garrison Public Affairs Office

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson Department of Emergency Services personnel bid a final farewell to one of their own, firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) Enzo Vennettilli Jr., during a memorial ceremony Aug. 21, 2020. Vennettilli, 43, passed away at his home Aug. 11, 2020.

The memorial service began at the Shrine of Remembrance in Colorado Springs and continued to Fort Carson while approximately 45 emergency vehicles drove through post as they paid tribute to the late firefighter with a procession.

According to Mitch Van Dyke, deputy fire chief, Fort Carson Fire Department, multiple external emergency response agencies attended to show their respect, including Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Stratmoor Hills, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Buckley Air Force Base, Fountain Station 1, Security/Widefield Village, Cimarron Hills, Cascade and Hanover fire departments, and American Medical Response.

“The support was incredible,” Van Dyke said. “It shows how tight-knit the community is and how we support each other fully when called upon.”

The motorcade ended at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in Fountain where more than 300 family, friends and local firefighters gathered to celebrate Vennettilli’s life and honor his service to his community and profession.

Among those in attendance was Capt. Daniel Byes, a supervisory firefighter at Fort Carson Fire Department Station 31.

“Enzo and I met when he started volunteering at Stratmoor Hills Fire Department. He stood out as one of the hardest working individuals I’d ever seen come through the doors,” Byes said. “He loved the job in its entirety. EMS, wildland firefighting — everything except HAZMAT; he hated HAZMAT. Truck work and rescue (were) his passion.”

Vennettilli was more than just a fellow firefighter; he was part of the firefighter brotherhood, Byes said.

“We do a job that asks each of us to put our lives on the line for one another, in reaching the common goals of helping others. It requires faith, humility and many more character traits not often found in abundance,” he said. “That’s the foundation of the brotherhood. Once in a while, inside of that brotherhood, you find a fireman that you truly come to love like a real brother.”

In addition to being a full-time firefighter, Vennettilli was also a licensed journeyman electrician for the local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He was known throughout the Fort Carson Fire Department for his love of the great outdoors, music, cards and “killer” hot wings.

According to Rob Fisher, fire chief, Fort Carson Fire Department, Vennettilli left an indelible mark on the Fort Carson Fire Department.

“Over the past 10 years here, we have had the honor of Enzo leading, mentoring and teaching many of the firefighters and officers in this department. He has assisted, developed or advised many of the programs, disciplines and processes we use today,” Fisher said. “Every program he touched became better with his dedication and hard work. A true master craftsman of the profession, he will be greatly missed by all.”

He is survived by his wife and two children, his parents, one brother, one sister and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Carson honors fallen firefighter
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