Philadelphia firefighter Michael Bernstein laid to rest Tuesday

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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Philadelphia firefighter Michael Bernstein laid to rest Tuesday. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on March 26, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Family, friends and fellow firefighters are paying their final respects to a Philadelphia firefighter.

Chopper 6 was above as a procession left the Givnish Funeral Home in the Northeast Tuesday morning.

Firefighters stood atop a fire truck with black bunting, surrounding the casket bearing the body of 46-year-old Michael Bernstein.

A procession of hundreds of his fellow firefighters followed behind, as they walked to St. Jerome Church in Torresdale, where a funeral mass will be held.

Bernstein was a 22-year veteran of the department.

His colleagues found him unconscious last Wednesday in a hallway at the firehouse at the airport where he was assigned. They looked for him when he did not respond to emergency dispatch.

Philadelphia Police Department Deputy Chief Robert Corrigan oversees the airport's fire operations.

"He had previously responded to a call and then returned to the station, they had another call, and when he did not respond to the apparatus, the members found him," Corrigan said.

Bernstein was a husband and father of three.

He grew up in Oxford Circle, joined the Navy where he was a chef on a nuclear sub. Out of the service, he joined the department where he was described as dedicated and modest.

"There was nothing that he would not do for us. He never wanted credit for anything. All the things a firefighter has to do he was able to do but even more than that. He was a cook for the company. He loved to cook, he loved sports, and he was just fun to be around. Any time he was around, people were smiling and I think that is how I will remember him," Corrigan said.

During the funeral, Bernstein will be posthumously promoted to the rank of lieutenant. In doing so, that will increase the pension payment going to his family.