ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Members of the community participated in calling hours Tuesday at the Riverside Convention Center, paying their respects to deceased firefighter Elvis Reyes.
Reyes, a 20-year-veteran of the Rochester Fire Department (RFD), was known for his constant charity work, recruitment efforts, his help during Hurricane Sandy, and efforts overseas instructing foreign firefighters.
During his career, he worked at truck 10 and engine 13, as well as Ridgeway (engine 10) and Dewey (truck 2). At the end of his career, he worked at engine 19 in Charlotte.
RFD Chief Felipe Hernandez called Reyes an “outstanding” and “dedicated” member of the firefighting force. Captain David Abdoch, who worked closely with Reyes and considered him a personal friend, said that Reyes “absolutely owned” his famous first name.
“He has definitely made me want to change a lot of things in my life: the way I interact with people, the way I interact with my kids, the way I interact with the community — because he had such a big personality,” Abdoch said. “His heart was bigger than he was.”
He said that Reyes was known for loving his family, his career, and his community, a legacy that lives on in his family. Reyes leaves behind two sons, Reid and Remington, who are also firefighters in RDF. Reyes also has two brothers serving as firefighters.
“This is a hard loss for everyone, especially his family. Because they g[o]t to have that awesomeness 24/7,” Abdoch said. “The family is dealing with it as good as they can right now, suffering a big loss like this.”
Following the conclusion of calling hours at 8 p.m., Reyes will be transferred to the Public Safety Building to lie in state in an event closed to the public.
The public funeral service will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Blue Cross Arena.