Walz orders flags to be lowered across the state in honor of Albert Lea firefighter

Published 6:34 pm Friday, February 11, 2022

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz Friday afternoon ordered all United States and Minnesota flags be flown at half staff at all state buildings across the state Saturday in honor of Albert Lea Fire Rescue Lt. Brett Boss, who died a week ago from cancer. 

“Lieutenant Boss was a dedicated firefighter who was respected by his family, friends and colleagues,” reads the proclamation issued by Governor Walz. “With its deepest gratitude, the state of Minnesota recognizes Lieutenant Boss for his dedicated service to, and sacrifice for, his fellow Minnesotans, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and community.”

Boss, age 38, had served in the Albert Lea fire department for over 17 years. 

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Processional to feature firefighters from all over the state

The community is encouraged to honor the late Lt. Brett Boss of Albert Lea Fire Rescue by viewing a processional Saturday of fire trucks and other vehicles. The processional will start at about 4:15 p.m. from his funeral at Crossroads Church and end at the Albert Lea fire station.

The funeral service is set for 3 p.m. at Crossroads Church, 3402 Hoeger Lane, Albert Lea, with visitation from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. Saturday prior to the service.

Following the service, a processional of fire trucks and other vehicles will start at the church, travel south on Bridge Avenue, turn right at Fountain Street to pass the former fire station at City Center, turn left at Newton Avenue and end at the new fire station at 417 Newton Ave. The community is encouraged to assemble along the route to honor Boss.

The death has been classified as a line of duty death by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and firefighters from all over the state have been invited to show their support to Boss’s family and celebrate his life.

After Boss was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ewings Sarcoma in December 2014, he lobbied for state legislation to fund special equipment for fire departments to reduce the risk of exposure to toxic substances that can cause cancer. On the national level, he worked with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar to create a national firefighter registry that studies the link between cancer and firefighters’ exposure to these substances.

“To say that he loved being a firefighter was an understatement, and he showed that every day through his devotion to his department and crew. He was involved in everything firefighting by going to trainings, participating in firefighter combat challenges and Fight for Air Climb events,” according to his obituary.

The tribute also notes that, “Brett was a soft-spoken, humble man and caring towards everyone that he met. He was the biggest fighter with the most positive attitude all the time and showed passion towards all of his work, family and coworkers.  The impact he has made on his community can never be measured and will never be forgotten.”