Firefighters travel from across Texas to honor Captain "Iron Bill" Dowling

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It's a brotherhood like no other.

"For us it's the opportunity to help our fellow brothers and sisters," said Captain Ryan Zelazny with the Fort Worth Fire Department.

In this family, they step in even to the line of duty in a different place.

"Stepping into someone else's truck with different equipment and different surroundings. It's intimidating to say the least," said Zelazny.

Firefighters from Fort Worth are among dozens from the region manning Houston Fire Department stations on Wednesday so those who want to pay their respects to Captain Bill Dowling get a chance.

Before hitting the streets of Houston, crews are briefed and go through scenarios.

RELATED: Captain "Iron Bill" Dowling honored during 'homecoming'

Many from the same departments stepped in following the Southwest Inn fire in 2013 that left Dowling injured and killed four other Houston firefighters.

"His loss of life to us touches each and every one of us," said Lt. Tom Richardson with The Woodlands Fire Department.

Captain Bill Dowling was a survivor and fighter. His almost four-year-long fight, an inspiration to all, came to an end last week. This weekend his body arrived from Colorado in a flag draped casket to a city-wide procession.

"He's well known through the firefighting community, was a great mentor to the fire service," Lt. Richardson added.

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In The Woodlands, many personally knew the Dowling family and many who didn't will step into a Houston truck to help.

"Just allow them the opportunity to attend the service and they can take a few hours and step away from the job and pay attention to the guys who have fallen," said Captain Zelazny.

The memorial will start at 10 a.m. on the campus of Houston Baptist University. Live coverage starts at 8:30 a.m. on ABC13.

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