Veteran Stamford 911 dispatcher laid to rest

Stamford's first responders said their final goodbyes Wednesday to a 911 dispatcher and volunteer firefighter who died last week in a car crash.Randy Samaha, 39,

DARIEN - Stamford's first responders said their final goodbyes Wednesday to a 911 dispatcher and volunteer firefighter who died last week in a car crash.

Randy Samaha, 39, worked as a dispatcher for nearly 14 years and spent the past decade volunteering at the Glenbrook Fire Department. He was killed Friday when his minivan crashed into a tree on Barnum Avenue Cutoff in Stratford Friday.

Stamford police on motorcycles escorted the casket to Saint Thomas Moore Church in Darien Wednesday morning. Family, friends and coworkers who gathered to pay their respects say Samaha will be remembered for his humor, his service to others and his loyal friendship.

Fellow dispatcher and longtime friend Michael Lockwood says Samaha's love for the fire department was especially strong, and he thinks his children will follow in his path.

"Every time we go to work we'll try to remember what his voice sounded like on the radio," Stamford Lt. Sean Cooney says. "Every time I watch a Steelers game I'll remember talking to him about the Steelers."

Samaha would have celebrated his 14-year anniversary as a dispatcher this Friday. Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy calls Samaha's death a loss for the entire community.

For interviews from outside of Randy Samaha's funeral, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra, Ch. 612.

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