Statement from Councilman Valenzuela Re: Officer Raetz and Firefighter Harper

May 20, 2013

I come to you with a heavy heart as a fire fighter and a councilman as we mourn the tragic loss of two of our finest and bravest.

As a fire fighter, I understand well the conscious decision our first responders make each and every day to perform duties, although in a safe and calculated manor, that may prevent them from going home to their families at the end of the shift.

Over this past weekend, tones sounded in Phoenix fire houses and police precincts, Fire Fighter Bradley Harper and Officer Daryl Raetz responded and raced to put themselves between total strangers and danger – I believe this is the most honorable thing one can do in this life.

I thank these two brave, selfless men, and their families, for paying the ultimate sacrifice for the people of Phoenix.  Please keep our first responders and their families in your thoughts and prayers.   As a man of faith, I respectfully offer the scripture which led me to the fire service:

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” - John 15:13-15.

-- Councilman Daniel Valenzuela