On October 25, 2005 Captain Robert Gallardy died as a result of injuries suffered the previous Sunday while teaching at the Pennsylvania Fire Academy in Lewistown, PA. Bob was an adjunct instructor helping to teach a class of structural fire fighting instructor candidates. He had gone to the basement of the academy burn building to light the fire for the last evolution of the day. Upon entering the basement, the suppression team found him on the floor of the burn room and, with the assistance of the RIT team, removed him from the building. Bob suffered second and third-degree burns over 75 percent of his body, including his face.


Following treatment on scene and stabilization at the Lewistown Hospital, Captain Gallardy was taken to the burn center at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown, PA where he died two days later.


Bob began his firefighting career as a member of our department at the age of 16. He served 22 years with the department prior to being hired by the Altoona Fire Department in 1996. Bob was a member of the International Association of Firefighters, Local 299; Cambria County Volunteer Firemen's Association; and the Central District Volunteer Firemen's Association. Bob was promoted to Captain in the Altoona department in July 2005 and had served as a state fire instructor for over 4 years. He is survived by his wife, Vickie, and 3 sons, Kyle, Drew, & Derek.


In memory of Captain Gallardy, his family along with a committee of trustees, has established a fund to provide support for firefighters who might not otherwise have the financial resources to acquire training, certification or protective equipment to make their jobs as safe as possible. More information on this fund can be viewed at GallardyFund.org.