Submitted by his mother
William Jack Tripp Jr. was a 28 year old member of the Richford Fire Department ‘Billy’ as he was called‚ was known to many in the Department as ‘The Colonel.’ Everyone thoughthe looked like Colonel Sanders. He was the father of a 9 year old girl‚ Cassandra. He was by profession a surface mount solderer. He populated circuit boards at Harvard Custom Manufacturing‚ and worked at Finger Lakes Fabricating‚ fabricating items out of steel and doing welding repairs. Some times he worked with me‚ his mother‚ at Hearth & Home installing hearth products.
While on scene at a car accident on April 13‚ 2002 he lost his life. He was a very active member of the Richford Fire Department. He completed and received the following certificates:
- Fire Police
- Hazardous Material First Responder Operations
- Commanding the Initial Response
- Basic Firefighter
- Rescue Technician-Basic
Billy’s daughter Cassandra was his true joy. They were very close and she misses him very much. He was the only thing she had for a parent because her mother lost touch with her. Both Billy and Cassandra moved in with my husband and myself. There they stayed and Cassandra is still with us. Billy and Cassandra enjoyed going to the movies‚ fishing‚ shooting bows together‚ camping‚ cuddling‚ and just enjoyed life together. He was a very good father‚ and talked with Cassandra about anything that involved a decision with her.
My son was always there for anyone in need. I can remember when I was setting up the Hills Dept. Store Santa Work Shop. Santa called in sick. I made one phone call and my son was there. He would do anything. He loved children and they loved him. He also was Santa for the Y back when he was 18 years old. He even swam in the pool with the kids!
I must tell you about the flying lessons my brother‚ Robert Alexander‚ also a member of the Richford Fire Department‚ and Billy took together. When it came time for the guys to fly the plane‚ Billy went first. He told my brother in the back seat‚’ Don’t pay any attention to the man behind the curtain’. They were so nervous. He was afraid of nothing‚ and tried everything he could. His daughter retains this gift to this day. This is his legacy.
Submitted by his uncle
Billy served 5 years with the Richford Fire Department‚he set a standard of professionalism for others to follow‚he was very interested in aviation and in fact we flew a cessna together. He also enjoyed camping and we did alot of that also. We worked together both on and off the fire Department but of all things he loved the fire department. He had an overwhelming desire to help those in need. As his uncle I am a truck Captain on the same fire department and it was a difficult loss for all of us‚ but no more so than his daughter Cassandra and mother bobbi(My Sister).
I was away at the time of his death with the National Gaurd‚ It was very difficult for me to comprhend the loss until I got home the next morning. I miss him everyday and if I could trade places with him I would because he was so young.I will escort his mother and daughter Cassandra at the October Ceremony and I will do it with pride‚ Not only for my own family but to all families that have lost a loved one.