In Loving Memory of our Brother

In honor of Russell, a short word from Battalion Chief James Pellitteri:

“FF/PM Russell Scott Constantino, was my brother, best friend… We started the fire service
together in July of 1989, our careers started as POC’s… Soon after in 1993 we became career firefighters
and were always willing to do this job for free… We loved and had great passion for the fire service…
Knowing we were called to be more then ourselves… Russell loved it all. He took great pride in his dream
and fulfilling his calling as a firefighter…

He believed in the mission of the fire department and he was the best version of himself when
he donned his uniform every third day… Russell responded to incidents, trained and a great keeper of
the firehouse, he took great care of his craft and the firehouse we all lived in… Russ was a firefighter
that could be counted on to get things done… Russ never slacked from his duties…
Russ soon was recognized and was appointed to the departments quarter master, dive team,
and started the department’s honor guard… Russell was instrumental in the beginning of IAFF Local 3598… He
and other firefighters took great notice for the need for union representation… The GFD environment
needed a change, so GFD could become a department of balance and have a unified voice to help direct
the department to better serve the mission of GFD… In the beginning stages of the union, hard stands
had to be taken and Russ stood strong for and with Local 3598…

The beginning of our local was full of hard challenges and Russ never wavered from the storms
that needed to be weathered… The Union stands today because of the firefighters who took a stand
together to overcome a very difficult time at GFD… If Russell was here today he would say; “WE did this
together… We all needed each other to become the Local we are today… The Union cannot be divided it
must stand in step with the GFD mission to be successful… ‘My (Russell’s) legacy is defined by the
firefighters I left behind, the question is what will your legacy be… It’s defined by the people you had
influence on one way or the other… Be a firefighter that serves others before themselves and your
legacy will be legendary…'”

In closing I would like to share a poem from Russell’s service I read …

Thank you for everything
For being with me on every call
Being at my side for it all
From the fire ground to chemo to hospice
to this very moment.

Thanks for loving me
Caring for me and believing in me.
If I may say one thing to you all
Love more and embrace what you have.
You have a gift god gave you
to serve those who can’t serve themselves.
And I received that blessing.
You men I served with, I will love forever
Now do me a favor live for me
embrace the calling of a firefighter.
Give yourselves away everyday
like you did for me in my time of need

And you will be blessed and truly free.
11/09 Everything James Pellitteri