boston fire back bay fire michael kennedy edward walsh Boston Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lt. Edward Walsh were killed in March 2014 during a fire in a Back Bay building.
Credit: Boston Fire Department

Soon after their death, the two Boston firefighters who were killed in a Back Bay fire earlier this year were recalled as men devoted to helping others.

Their dedication to assisting others will continue to live on as a pair of specially trained service dogs will be named in their honor.


The names of the two service-dogs-in-training were to be formally announced during an event Thursday at the Boylston Street fire station where Lt. Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy worked.

The National Education for Assistance Dog Services, also known as Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans, is training the young Labrador Retrievers that will become service dogs for people with disabilities.

Walsh's family decided to name one of the dogs "Jake." The term "jake" often refers to a good firefighter. Kennedy's family chose the name "Rossi Boy" for the other dog in honor of Kennedy's home neighborhood of Roslindale.

"We are grateful to the Walsh and Kennedy families for honoring their loved ones' legacies by naming these two NEADS assistance dogs … that are moving forward in fulfilling their own mission to serve others," said Gerry DeRoche, chief executive officer of NEADS, in a statement.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

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