IRWIN (KDKA) – An estimated 400 firefighters gathered in Westmoreland County Sunday night for a memorial service for a volunteer with the North Irwin Fire Department.

James Gumbert, 63, died of a heart attack in the early morning hours of last Wednesday as he was responding to an alarm.

Firefighters marched in a solemn procession from Irwin Park to a funeral home for Gumbert’s wake.

Richard Fry, a longtime member of the Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department, told KDKA-TV: “During fires, your fellow firefighters are in there. They [The firemen] are your buddies. You watch his back, and he watches yours. That’s what we’re doing now, to pay respects to Jim and his family.”

Tom Harrison, the North Irwin fire chief, said: “We’ll remember Jim for everything he did for our community, we could count on him whenever we needed him.”

Funeral services for Gumbert will be held Monday morning in North Huntingdon.

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