Emmitsburg, MD – The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Fire Administration announce that the 25th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend will be held October 7-8, 2006. A plaque with the names of 98 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2005 will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, located here on the National Fire Academy campus. The names of six firefighters who died in previous years will also be added. The plaques surrounding the Memorial, which was established in 1981, will contain the names of more than 3,000 firefighters.
Thirty-three states experienced line-of-duty deaths in 2005. Deaths resulted from various causes, including: motor vehicle accidents while en route to or returning from emergency calls, training incidents, building collapses, being struck by objects (vehicles, trees) at the incident scene, falls, heart attacks, air tanker and helicopter crashes, electrocution, drowning, assault, and burns.
Four multiple fatality incidents accounted for ten deaths Two multiple fatality incidents occurred at structural fires while the other two occurred during wildland operations. One structural incident involved an explosion. The other resulted in two firefighters becoming trapped. The wildland incidents involved aircraft crashes.
Wildland fires, controlled burns and aircraft training/certification for wildlland fire protection resulted in 10 deaths. Six of the firefighters died while piloting air tankers or helicopters.
Of the firefighters being honored this year, 63 were volunteer firefighters, 37 were career and 4 were contract firefighters.
New York had the Nation’s greatest number of line-of-duty firefighter deaths in 2005 with 17; while California, Pennsylvania, and Texas each had 8 firefighters die in the line of duty.
Hal Bruno, Chairman of the NFFF Board of Directors, stated: “Survivors and members of the fire service travel from across the country to honor their loved ones and fallen comrades at the Memorial Weekend. They receive emotional support and meet others who suffered loss. The Foundation’s services are offered to the families and colleagues of fallen firefighters not only following a line-of-duty death but for years to come.”
For more information on the Memorial Weekend, contact the Foundation or visit http://www.firehero.org.