Ponca Hills firefighter killed in the line of duty to be laid to rest

(Fort Calhoun, NE) -- A Ponce Hills firefighter who died in the line of duty last week will be laid to rest on Tuesday.

The services for Dennis Bender will be held at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Fort Calhoun at 11:00 Tuesday morning. Following the funeral, a procession will depart St. John the Baptist at approximately 12:30 with a Douglas County Sheriff escort. The procession will follow US 75 south to Ponca Road. The procession will then head east on Ponca Road to JJ Pershing Drive. South on Pershing drive to Diagonal Road before heading west on Diagonal Road to McKinley Road. The procession will then take McKinley to Mormon Bridge Road and Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Community members who would like to pay tribute to Bender are welcome to line up along the procession route as long as they can do so safely.

Bender died while responding to a large field fire near Fort Calhoun on Wednesday, March 10th. The Ponca Hills Volunteer Fire Department says while at the fire scene, firefighter Bender provided emergency medical and rehab services to the crews working on the fire. They say Bender collapsed from a medical emergency and that resuscitation efforts by Paramedics and EMTs from Fort Calhoun and Ponca Hills were unsuccessful.

Bender joined the Ponca Hills Volunteer Fire Department on April 1, 1971 and served as an active responder until his death.

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