POUGHKEEPSIE – City of Poughkeepsie firefighters were joined by firefighters from several Hudson Valley departments to celebrate the life of Poughkeepsie firefighter Tim “Timbo” Gunther on the sixth anniversary of his line-of-duty death on Wednesday. Gunther succumbed to a cardiac issue that arose while fighting a fire on May 5, 2015.
Last year, Zeus Brewing Company honored Gunther’s legacy as a 21-year veteran of the Poughkeepsie Fire Department by unveiling a limited-edition “PK’s Bravest” beer. On Tuesday, prior to public availability, the firefighters sampled the latest tribute to Gunther; the “PK’s Bravest – 2nd Alarm.” The new release, described by Zeus’ Jeremy Phillips, is a “thirst-quenching blonde ale.” Phillips explained the Zeus participation saying, “Poughkeepsie firefighters, like their counterparts in the police department, do amazing things for this city and this is our way of honoring them. To be able to help the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is a privilege.”
Nick Bucher, President of Poughkeepsie Firefighters IAFF Local 596, announced that a portion of the proceeds will once again be donated to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) in Tim Gunther’s name. “Tim was a legend and we are honored to carry on his legacy of selfless giving,” said Bucher. Fire Lieutenant Paul Bucher said that the golden ale style was chosen to appeal to a larger audience. “Not everyone is a fan of an IPA. We came up with the idea and Jeremy and the crew at Zeus crafted an amazing beer. We can’t thank Zeus enough for honoring Timbo and helping the foundation.”
Zeus had brewed 90 cases of cans and a few kegs for the release. On Wednesday evening, approximately 85 cases had been sold already, said Phillips.
The firefighters were joined by Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison at the unveiling on Wednesday. “We will never forget Tim and his sacrifice. Special thanks to Zeus Brewing for honoring Tim and his memory,” said the mayor who was joined by Second Ward Councilman Evan Menist. “I am eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by our firefighters to save lives and am thankful for the opportunity to stand with them today,” Menist said. He also recognized the brewery for their contribution, saying “Thank you to Jeremy Phillips and Zeus Brewing Company on Main Street in the second ward for hosting today’s celebration of Firefighter Gunther’s life.”
The NFFF was created by Congress to lead a nationwide effort to honor America’s fallen firefighters. Since 1992, the non-profit foundation has developed and expanded programs that fulfill that mandate. Their mission is to honor and remember America’s fallen fire heroes and to provide resources to assist their families in rebuilding their lives and work within the fire service community to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries.