Thousands of firefighters from around the country will join President Obama and the First Lady to pay respects to the families, friends and co-workers of the 12 firefighters who died battling the West (TX) fire and explosion. The memorial service will begin on Thursday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m., Central Time, at Baylor University’s Ferrell Center at 1900 South University Parks Drive, Waco, Texas 76706.
All apparatus to participate in the procession should report to the staging area located at 2501 S. University Parks Drive, Waco, TX 76706 (the Old HEB Terminal) between 6 – 9 a.m. The procession of apparatus to the Ferrell Center will begin at 10 a.m.
Free shuttles will take members of the fire service from Lots C and D at Baylor University to the procession staging area between 6 – 9 a.m. The procession of uniformed personnel will begin at 11 a.m.
Department specific Class A or equivalent uniform can be worn with white gloves and black badge covers if available. If no uniform is available, business dress attire is appropriate. Fire service appliances such as axes, pike poles, ceremonial swords or knives are prohibited at Ferrell Center. There will be an area provided for Honor Guards to store their colors at Ferrell Center.
For others attending the memorial service, doors at the Ferrell Center will open at 11 a.m. All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, firearms, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras and cell phones are permitted.
Live streaming will also be available on the Foundation’s website, www.firehero.org/westtexas.
Since last Thursday, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and our partners, the Texas LODD Task Force, have been on the ground in Texas offering assistance and support to the departments, families and friends through the Local Assistance State Team (LAST). Because of the large loss of life, the Foundation expects to be here for a lengthy period of time, providing peer counseling, and support in many other ways. To help those efforts, the NFFF has established a national fund to accept monetary donations to assist the survivors and coworkers of the fire and EMS personnel who died in the line of duty. All donated funds will be used to assist the survivors and coworkers to rebuild their lives and support the programs and services they will need.
Checks can be mailed to:
NFFF c/o West, Texas Fire and EMS Fallen Hero Fund
P.O. Drawer 498
Emmitsburg, MD 21727.
Donations also can be made by credit card at www.regonline.com/westtx.
For more information about the Texas LODD Task Force: www.texasloddtaskforce.com.
For more information about Baylor University and the West Disaster: www.baylor.edu/relief.