Christopher Drum, a well-known and beloved Southold volunteer firefighter and local real estate agent, died suddenly Wednesday night. He was 42.
On Thursday, fellow firefighters remembered their friend as a reliable member of the department’s rescue squad who played on the firehouse’s band and had been helping to prepare for the Fourth of July parade.
“When you needed people, you knew his car would be pulling into the parking lot,” said second assistant chief Craig Goldsmith.
Southold’s emergency volunteers who answered an ambulance call to Mr. Drum’s house Wednesday night didn’t realize until they entered the house that the call they were answering was for one of their own.
“I’m still in shock about it,” Chief Goldsmith said. “I can’t believe it … He’s one of those irreplaceable guys.
“It’s one of those things in life that just seems unfair.”
Mr. Drum worked as a broker at his family’s real estate firm, Beninati Associates in Southold. He joined the Southold Fire Department about four years ago and became well-respected for his commitment to helping others.
Last month, Mr. Drum, also an EMT, rushed across the street from his office on Main Road to help save a man who suffered a heart attack.
Mr. Drum and his wife, Katherine Meehan, who’s also a volunteer in the department, were regulars at the firehouse.
“He was always at her side,” Chief Goldsmith said.
Fire department chief Peggy Killian — who served with Mr. Drum in the Protection Hose company — said the firefighter was a valuable member of the department.
“You don’t want to lose anyone — not at 42 years of age,” she said.
Mr. Drum’s family will receive visitors Sunday, July 6, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold. The Southold Fire Department’s service starts at 7:30 p.m. in the funeral home.
A funeral mass will take place 11 a.m. on Monday, July 7, at St. Patrick’s R.C. Church in Southold. Interment will take place at St. Patrick’s R.C. Cemetery.