IMAGES: Police escort procession carrying body of fallen Bullitt County EMA deputy director
Police escorted a procession carrying the body of Bullitt County's deputy director of emergency management from University Hospital to Owen Funeral Home on Dixie Highway on Friday.
Friday, February 6th 2015, 11:17 AM EST
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Friday, a procession of first responders honored a leader in the Louisville community who died unexpectedly. It was part of the loss felt by those who work to save the lives of others, and how they're remembering Les Bandy.
Bandy was deputy director of the Bullitt County Emergency Management Agency. He will be laid to rest on Monday.
But Friday, dozens of people gathered and lined the streets as his body was escorted to Owen Funeral.
As bagpipes played, they saluted their fallen comrade.
"I am still trying to realize what is going on...because I didn't lose a co-worker, I lost a friend," said Mike Phillips, Director of Bullitt County Emergency Services.
Bandy died after a rollover crash on Ky. 44 on Thursday afternoon.
"We just worked good together and got to bounce ideas off of our heads," Phillips said. "I am just really going to miss the man, I am really going to miss him."
Phillips was also one of the first to hear the news.
"Probably about two minutes after it happened, because they thought it was me, 'cause we drive the same vehicle," he said.
After the gathering, dozens of police and first responders escorted the procession carrying Bandy's body from University Hospital to Owen Funeral Home on Dixie Highway.
"It was a significant escort...a show of respect," said Eric Johnson, Executive Director of Supporting Heroes. "The outpouring of support has been overwhelming."
Johnson often responds to line of duty deaths involving police, fire and EMS, but he said this one hit close to home.
"Les and I started EMT training together in 1976, and then served years together at Louisville EMS," Johnson said.
Meanwhile, as Bandy's body was escorted inside Owen Funeral Home, his colleagues stood in attention as family members prepared to make arrangements for a final farewell.
"He has a wife, a son and a daughter and some grandchildren," said Johnson.
"You would be surprised at how many people you saw today that did not know Les Bandy; Les has taught classes since he has been with me...statewide," said Phillips.
There will be a visitation for Bandy at Owen Funeral home from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and then a second visitation from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, followed by funeral services at Valley View Baptist Church on 3rd Street Road.
This is considered a line of duty death because Bandy was on call and just leaving a meeting at a fire house.
There will be a visitation for Bandy Saturday from 2-8 at Owen Funeral on Dixie Highway.
Monday visitation 10-2 and funeral at 2 p.m. -- both at Valley View Baptist Church on 3rd Street Road.
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