First responders and westside honor Jim Sauer

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CHURCHVILLE, N.Y. (WHEC) — First responders from our area honored the life of Jim Sauer and his service to our community. He’s the Mercy Flight pilot who died in a helicopter crash last week in Genesee County.

News10NBC was there for a huge show of respect on the Westside. The procession from the funeral home in Hilton to the church in Chili went through Ogden and a huge American flag was draped over Route 259.

Spencerport and Brockport fire volunteers along with Ogden Special Police made this happen.

"It’s a massive volunteer effort to show respect for Jim," said Ogden Police Chief Chris Mears.

Jim Sauer was a Westside guy. He grew up in Churchville and stayed there living in a house right next to his brother, Gerry.

If you talk to any of our local first responders most of them knew Jim and have nothing but good things to say about the man who dedicated his life to serving his country and community.

"Just a great guy. Very personable. Very friendly. Very outgoing," Chief Mears said. "I knew him when he was a Rochester Police Department officer. He was a guy who would do anything for you and always did."

To give you a little insight into Jim, his brother Gerry said just a few weeks before the crash he told his brother to retire and enjoy life. Jim told him, "Gerry, when you love what you do you don’t work a day in your life."

"Anytime somebody loses their life in service to somebody else we all try to come out and show our respect, show our appreciation and honor their dedication to the community," Chief Mears said.

Tonight, News10NBC along with our community honor the life of James Sauer, a true American hero.