CT firefighter dies in climbing incident

Sept. 8 – BRIDGEPORT, CT – A city firefighter who died from injuries sustained while climbing in New York City on Monday afternoon had nearly reached the 200-foot mark of his climb when he fell, authorities say .

The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said in a report that police and medics responded to the area at 3650 Route 44/55 in Gardiner, NY, for a 911 call about a fallen climber. The report identified the individual as Stephen M. Buda III, a 56-year-old New Haven resident.

Authorities said the preliminary investigation, which included testimony, suggested Buda was climbing at a popular spot on the Trapps Bridge section of the Mohonk Reserve. They said it looks like he was about 150 to 175 feet from the about 200 foot section of the climb when he fell. The report says Buda was not wearing any climbing or safety gear at the time.

The Bridgeport Fire Department announced Buda’s death on Tuesday, adding that he is survived by a wife and two children.

Buda, a pump engineer for the city fire department, was hired in August 2013. The department said rock climbing was Buda’s favorite pastime.

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Virginia F. Goins