By: Erika Fernandez
January 26, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Tragedy struck the Tallahassee Fire Department last month when beloved Capt. Brad Deanda was killed when a car slammed into him. A wife and two sons now left without their husband and father.
Brad’s oldest son, Bradley, is a high school senior, a member of St. John Paul II Catholic School's basketball team, and tonight, a special night: Senior Night.
Bradley's coach, Titus Dixon, set up a surprise for the family, including members of the Tallahassee Fire Department, as they rallied together, once again, behind this family.
It was a night to remember for Bradley Deanda: honored as a senior and playing his last home game as a Panther. But Thursday night, his biggest fan was missing from the action.
"Just because he's gone doesn’t mean he's forgotten or anything like that, and I know he would do it for my family so I’m here to do it for his family," says Lt. Chad Teems of TFD.
Bradley's father, Brad was killed last month. Thursday night, his coworkers from the Tallahassee Fire Department proved yet again, they're here for the family.
"It just helps to remind me that I’m not alone. This is the worst that I can ever imagine going through for right now for me. Brad was my whole world, and still is my whole world," says Bradley’s mother, Sharla Deanda.
Bradley's head coach organized the surprise, one that left the whole family in tears.
"I think he saw some in the crowd and then when they all came in, he was very, very touched...it meant a lot to him," Sharla says.
But for coworkers and friends, this is just part of who they are: Jumping to action and helping those in need.
"We’re going to continue this on for many years to come. We want to continue on just what he was all about, just being a good friend and good family man," Lt. Teems says.
And for the Deandas, they say they now have a second family for life.
"They’ve been our family for 24 years and will continue to be my family. He would be very proud, very humbled and very honored," Sharla says.
Bradley had over 75 firefighters stand in support of him on Thursday night; Over 100 altogether, including his family.