HIGH POINT, N.C. -- The High Point community shared fond memories of High Point fire fighter Todd Martinez Friday, when loved ones and colleagues gathered at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church to celebrate his life.
"This is a loss to the entire community," said Guilford County emergency services director Jim Albright.
"There's not a single person that Todd didn't personally impact with his wit, humor, friendship, and all of us are here to celebrate that today," he said.
High Point fire chief Thomas Reid described Martinez as passionate about everything he did--from being a fire fighter to paramedic and from father to friend. Reid said, "He believed in giving and helping people, and it's a shame to cut that life short."
Martinez, a longtime High Point fire fighter and paramedic was riding bikes with his wife Sunday, when a hit-and-run driver struck and killed him. Martinez was 50 years old.
Joining family at the funeral were dozens of current and former colleagues of Martinez, who worked with him at the High Point Fire Department, at the International Fire Fighters Association local post 673 and at his former job in California. The High Point Police force also attended the service.
At the church, fire fighters draped a large American flag atop a fire truck nearest the church. Surrounded by dozens of public service men and women, the Color Guard gave Martinez the 21-gun salute as the procession began. A half-mile-long line of fire trucks then led the procession down Johnson Street, as community members stood by. With hands placed over their hearts, they bid goodbye to the man most knew as both friend and hero.