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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 47
Year of Death: 2005

Robert G. Gallardy

Submitted by his wife

Bob started his introduction to the fire service at age 16 when he became a junior volunteer fireman in his hometown of Summerhill. He joined the Summerhill Volunteer Fire Department and dedicated 20 years of service to them. This was the core of his lifelong passion of the fire service. In 1996‚ at the age of 36‚ he was awarded ‘Outstanding Firefighter’ of his career academy class at Harrisburg Area Community College. This began his career with the City of Altoona Fire Department. Education was Bob’s passion; he excelled with a degree in Fire Science‚ obtained numerous National Certifications and advanced to become a Fire Service Instructor. He served as an adjunct instructor‚ enjoying instructing both career and volunteer firefighters. Bob’s respect and admiration for the profession was reciprocated to him by his students‚ fellow instructors and brother firefighters. He served the Altoona Fire Department in many capacities such as: Engine Captain‚ Haz-Mat Technician‚ First Responder Instructor and Physical Training Instructor for new cadets. Bob’s fellow firefighters could always depend on him.

Bob could not ignore the needs of anything or one. In May 2005 while traveling out of Altoona‚ he witnessed a mother duck and her ducklings crossing the street in front of him. While mom made it over the curbing; the ducklings did not. They all traveled along the curb until they fell thru a catch basin and disappeared. Bob immediately was out of his car. By removing the cover and dropping into the basin‚ he lifted all the ducklings to safety.

Bob enjoyed everything in life. He enjoyed having fun and sharing his joy of life with others. You could not help but to be drawn in by his quiet charm and wit. Bob was a very special man to all who met and knew him. He was passionate about the people in his personal life. If you needed help‚ support‚ comfort‚ or a smile; you think…’Bob.’ His wife and three sons formed the passion of his heart. Sharing time with his sons at their sporting events‚ being the proud ‘quiet’ father was his favorite pastime and recently‚ riding his motorcycle with his wife would come second. Bob will forever be in our hearts and memories. His special quiet way will always be missed and remembered.

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  1. For Bob, being a member of the Catholic Faith, was not just an hour a week we give to God. His life as a Husband, Father, Fireman was the same manner of living. It was a daily, an hourly, a minute-by-minute choice he made. It meant thinking of God and others as much as or even more than thinking only of himself. It is acting like our God Who is Love.

    “When I am called to duty, God,
    wherever flames may rage,
    give me strength to save a life,
    whatever be its age.
    Help me embrace a little child
    before it is too late,
    or save an older person from
    the horror of that fate.
    Enable me to be alert,
    and hear the weakest shout,
    quickly and efficiently
    to put the fire out.
    I want to fill my calling,
    to give the best in me,
    to guard my friend and neighbor,
    and protect his property.
    And if according to Your will
    I must answer death’s call,
    bless with your protecting hand,
    my Family one and all.

    – Monsignor Anthony B Little
  2. Bob was a very special individual. I remember him dropping everything and helping my parents when their basement wall collapsed. That was the person he was. We miss him but can’t imagine the pain his family feels. With everything good that’s happened since his passing, we can’t help but wonder what a great grandfather and father-in-law he would be. Much love, Bob

    – Ron and Barbara Bluffin