‘He’s going to be greatly missed’: Community, firefighters honor fallen Spokane hero

SPOKANE, Wash. — On a rainy Saturday morning, Spokane area firefighters crossed two ladders in the Calvary church parking lot. A large American flag hanging, flowing, as a Spokane County Fire District 9 fire truck drives underneath with Lt. Cody Traber’s casket.

Firefighters, other first responders and the community came together to remember and honor Traber.

Traber died in the line of duty on Aug. 26. Traber and other firefighters were called to check on a brush fire near Highway 395 and Wandermere. Traber was on a bridge when he fell and died.

Traber, who was also a paramedic, worked with Spokane County Fire District 9 for 18 years. He previously worked at Stevens County Fire District 1, Cheney Fire Department and the Department of Natural Resources Arcadia District.

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On Saturday, at least 1,500 people and firefighters came to the Calvary Spokane to memorialize Lt. Traber.

“When a firefighter dies, the entire firefighting community feels it,” said Bob Shindelar, a division chief with Spokane County Fire District 9.

Shindelar worked alongside Traber. Losing him, as anyone can imagine, has been devastating – for him, the rest of the SCFD 9 crew, and, of course, his family.

A procession started at 11:30 a.m. from Station 92, where Traber worked. The streets were lined with more than 100 different fire apparatus to honor Traber.

“It’s going to be a very honorable memorial to recognize all of Cody’s accomplishments, to recognize him as our friend, as our fellow firefighter,” Shindelar said emotionally.

Shindelar said Traber was a firefighter who went above and beyond for his brothers and sisters as well as the community.

Traber loved fighting wildland fires, Shindelar said. He was also a big part of helping people train, too.

“He was a mentor to many firefighters within our department. He pushed our firefighters to be better than what they are today, and he did that also for himself throughout his entire career with us,” Shindelar said. “He’s going to be greatly missed.”

The loving father leaves behind his wife, Allysin, and four young children.

“He was a very loving person. He was very much family-oriented, and his wife and kids meant the world to him,” Shindelar said.

A memorial lies near the place where Traber died near the Wandermere bridge. Flowers were there along with a photo of him and a few fire trucks right next to it.

Since Traber’s passing, Shindelar said the community support has been “unbelievable.”

“On behalf of Spokane County Fire District 9, I just want to thank all of the community members that have support Cody’s family during this difficult time,” Shindelar said, his voice wavering.

Traber is gone, but not forgotten. As they would say the in fire service, they “will take it from here.”

Shindelar said people can still contribute to the benevolent fund if they’d like. All proceeds will go to Traber’s wife and kids. To help, click the link below.


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