SALISBURY -- A bitterly cold November morning couldn’t stop over 175 runners from taking to the streets of Salisbury Saturday in honor of fallen firefighter Tim Oliveira.
“He would be overwhelmed,” nine-year Salisbury Firefighter John Condelli said of his lieutenant and friend who died in a work-related accident in 2011. “I don’t think he would like all the attention. But if it was someone else’s race, he would be here supporting them.”
The runners Saturday were supporting the Timothy J. Oliveira Memorial Fund by running the third annual Timmy Trot 5K Run and Walk, including fellow firefighters from Newburyport, Amesbury, Georgetown, Gloucester, Lynn and even Chelsea among other fire departments.
“I think it is really important to remember everything that Timmy did for this town and this community,” said race organizer and Oliveira’s niece, Julie Souliotis. “It’s a really good thing for the Oliveira and Souliotis families to remember him. It’s good for the healing process after everything that happened.”
Recently incorporated, the Memorial Fund raises money for the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts and also assists the Pettengill House Holiday Fund.
A popular person in the Salisbury before he passed away, Oliveira was known for his many “Timmy-isms.”
“If you were to tell Timmy that you were going to have a race in his honor,” said Condelli. “He’d say, ‘Ahhhhhhh... I don’t think so.’ And that’s a common phrase around here. Any time we have to do something that we don’t want to, we’ll say that. And we all get a kick out of it. People say that all the time, to quote him.”
Chelsea Fire Department mechanic Marc Elbin ran his first Timmy Trot in full turnout gear to make a statement of his own.
“Timmy was the mechanic in Salisbury, and it’s kind of a solidarity thing,” said Elbin. “It’s cold enough so that, if there was ever a time to do it, it was the time.”