To honor those who suffered fatal burns and to advocate for improvements in safety codes and home fire sprinkler installation, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) will join burn survivors, their loved ones, health care professionals and fire service leaders and firefighters for the Walk of Remembrance on Wednesday, September 21 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The walk, which will begin at the Cincinnati Hyatt and end at the Greater Cincinnati Firefighters Memorial, is part of the World Burn Conference sponsored by the Phoenix Society.
Following the walk, Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, executive director of the NFFF, will speak about the difference home fire sprinklers can make and call for increased advocacy for fire safety code enforcement. During his nearly 40-year career in firefighting, Siarnicki served as Chief of the Prince George’s County, Maryland Fire Department, one of the first jurisdictions in the country to have a residential sprinkler law.
“I’ve witnessed the devastation fires cause in terms of property damage and lives lost. I’ve also experienced first-hand the remarkable difference residential sprinklers can make,” says Siarnicki. “One sprinkler head will extinguish nearly every fire that starts inside a home. It prevents toxic smoke and intense heat from hurting or killing the people who live there and the firefighters who are called to respond.”
The mission of the NFFF extends beyond honoring the nation’s fallen fire fighters and providing services for their survivors. The NFFF works with the U.S. Fire Service to educate members of the fire service about preventing and reducing line-of-duty deaths and injuries. The Foundation also advocates for improved safety standards and equipment, both within the fire service and communities.
In March of 2004 the Foundation and leaders from the fire service convened the Firefighter Life Safety Summit in Florida. The result from that meeting was the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives. Number 15 of the initiatives states: Advocacy must be strengthened for the enforcement of codes and the installation of home fire sprinklers.
For more information about the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, visit www.everyonegoeshome.com.