Bedford Township Fire crews remember Deputy Sean Riley

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Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 6:34 PM CST
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WAYNE CO., Ill. (WFIE) - Among those mourning the loss of Deputy Sean Riley are first responders.

The procession of law enforcement and first responders, led the way from the funeral service to Deputy Sean Riley’s burial. Some knew him and worked with him, some never met him but were there to honor him. Among those mourning, the Bedford Township fire protection district.

[Related story: Funeral procession carries fallen deputy]

“Because he was a local guy, we always appreciated having him on scene with us,” said Chief Josh Smith. “After the situation was over we were always able to cut up, talk about things.”

Bedford Township crews got to respond to some of Riley’s last calls with him.

“Probably the last four of my last five ambulance calls that I’ve been on, he was one of the deputies responding to it,” said Keelin Davis, North Wayne Ambulance Service coordinator. “One of our last calls he actually talked a patient into going to the hospital.”

“Of course we would have talked more if we would have known on our last call that would have been the last one with him,” said Smith.

The community of Wayne County is small. When crisis strikes it takes teamwork of multiple agencies to get people the help they need. Every part of the team is vital.

“Whenever we’re on a scene we all work together,” said Smith. “Whether that be the ambulance service, fire service or law enforcement, we all work hand in hand. To lose one of those people, no matter if they’re in the fire service with us is a tremendous loss to us.”

An important member of their team is gone, and Bedford Township fire crews say there will always be a ‘Deputy Sean Riley’-sized hole in their hearts.

“He was the best,” said Davis. “Very patient. Not a lot got under his skin, and if it did, he didn’t let it show.”

“We have a void that will not be filled,” said Smith. “We will forever miss Sean.”

In addition to being a dedicated deputy, Riley’s friends remember him as someone who loved his family, hunting, sports, and being outdoors.

[Related Story: Deputy Sean Riley laid to rest]

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