The 31st National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service will honor 80 firefighters who died in 2011 and five firefighters who died in previous years during the official national service on Sunday, October 7, at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg (MD).
Bronze plaques containing their names will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, located on the academy campus. The plaques surrounding the Memorial, which was established in 1981, list the names of more than 3,600 firefighters. The national tribute is sponsored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Fire Administration.
“Without hesitation, firefighters face tremendous risks every day to help their communities,” said Chief Dennis Compton, Chairman of the Board of the NFFF. “Each October, we gather to reflect on the sacrifices of those who died in the line of duty and to let their families, friends and co-workers know they will never be forgotten.”
Thirty-one states and the Territory of Guam experienced line-of-duty deaths in 2011. Two other states have firefighters who died in previous years being honored. North Carolina and Texas had the nation’s greatest number of firefighter line-of-duty deaths in 2011 with 6 in each state, followed by Pennsylvania with 5. These deaths resulted from apparatus or vehicle accidents, heart attacks, natural disaster response, falling, drowning, building collapses, explosion, and burns/smoke inhalation.
More than 6,000 people, including Members of Congress, Administration officials and other dignitaries, members of the fire service, and families, friends, and co-workers of the fallen firefighters will attend the event. Families will receive flags flown over the U. S. Capitol and the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. Members of the fire service, honor guard units and pipe and drum units from across the U.S. will participate in this national remembrance.
For a complete list of fallen firefighters being honored and a widget to display their information on your website, along with Memorial Weekend related videos, photos, media and broadcast information visit http://weekend.firehero.org/live/