DETROIT (WJBK) - Detroit first responders are set to board a bus tonight bound for New York City where they will join mourners in a very somber occasion.
On Saturday New York EMT Yadira Arroyo, a mother of five, killed in the line of duty will be laid to rest - and the contingent of Detroit firefighters and EMS workers will be there in a show of support.
"Our medics experience the same things that the New York medics and paramedics face every day and the tragedy that occurred in New York," said Mike Nevin, Detroit Firefighters Association.
Mike Nevin who represents 1,300 Detroit firefighters and EMS workers, says the tragedy that unfolded in the Bronx earlier this week where Arroyo, 44, was killed by her own ambulance, hit home for his members knowing the unexpected dangers - can happen anywhere.
Like Detroit medic Charlene Kinnard.
"We don't realize it because our mindset is go in there (when) someone needs help," Kinnard said. "That is at the forefront of our mind. I think a lot of the time we minimize the danger we can be in."
Arroyo and her partner were responding to a call when someone began riding their bumper. Both pulled over and got out.
At the same time the man in the car - jumped into the ambulance.
Dramatic cell phone video shows the ambulance whipping around the corner and striking and killing the EMT, who was also a 14-year veteran with FDNY.
"Just the absolute horror of that event hit home for the medics here in Detroit for our medics and our firefighters," Nevin said. "And we started receiving calls right away about what we could do as union."
Firefighters and EMS workers who have to deal with their own violent encounters felt they needed to be there for their fellow first responders.
It wasn't long ago two Detroit EMS workers were attacked and stabbed with a box cutter. With that in mind - the union helped organize a bus trip to New York.
Off-duty and retired Detroit firefighters and EMTs plan to arrive Saturday in time to pay their respects - and represent Detroit.
"Because it shows we are one especially with the climate of everything going on in the country in the world," said Kinnard. "It shows we are one we understand their pain and they are not in it alone."
"Something of this magnitude they needed to be there and we wanted as a union to be there," Nevin said. "We want New York know that know we care."