MCFRS News Release

National Fallen Firefighters to be Memorialized

Sunday Memorial Service in Emmitsburg, Maryland

Montgomery County Fire Chief Tom Carr and others from Montgomery County will be attending memorial service on Sunday, October 5, 2008.  Congressman Steny Hoyer and other elected officials are also expected to be participating.  The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service honor guard, dozens of rank and file firefighters and emergency medical technicians and several fire and rescue units from Montgomery County will also be part of the weekend’s activities.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Fire Administration 27th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend will be held October 4-5, 2008. A plaque with the names of 101 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2007 will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, located on the National Fire Academy campus. The names of 9 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 3,200 firefighters.

Thirty-four (34) states experienced line-of-duty deaths in 2007. Deaths resulted from many causes, including 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, helicopter crashes, and burns. Six multiple fatality incidents accounted for 19 deaths. Four multiple fatality incidents occurred at structural fires, one during an explosion at a HAZMAT incident, and another in an apparatus crash en route to an emergency call.  Wildland fires, controlled burns and training/ certification for wildland protection resulted in 5 fatalities. South Carolina suffered the Nation's greatest number of line-of-duty firefighter deaths in 2007 with 10, while Pennsylvania had 8, North Carolina had 8, and New York had 7.

The nine (9) firefighters who died in a fire in Charleston, South Carolina on June 18, 2007 are being recognized this year.  Charleston, South Carolina Mayor Joe Riley, members of the Charleston Fire Department Honor Guard, Charleston fire service personnel, and family members of the Charleston fallen are expected to join Chief Carr and attend the Memorial Service in Emmitsburg.  Mayor Riley recently announced that Montgomery County (MD) Fire Chief Tom Carr will soon assume the position of Fire Chief in Charleston, South Carolina.

Chief Dennis Compton, Chairman of the NFFF Board of Directors, stated: "Each year, members of the fire service, survivors of our fallen heroes, and other guests join together in Emmitsburg, Maryland, during the Memorial Weekend to honor those firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty. They travel from all over the United States to take part in this important weekend of events. It's a time of dignity, respect, and reflection for our service, and an opportunity to extend our collective love and support to the survivors. Family members, as well as fellow firefighters, learn of the services the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has available for them and how they can stay connected to the Foundation for assistance in the future."  

Hal Bruno, Chairman Emeritus, 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."

Schedule of Events - 2008 National Memorial Weekend
NETC Campus, 16825 South Seton Ave., Emmitsburg, MD

Saturday, October 4 - 6:30 p.m. - Candlelight Service,
Basilica of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Emmitsburg, MD (adjacent to NETC Campus)
Sunday, October 5 - 10:00 a.m. - National Memorial Service,
Memorial Site. Service is approximately two hours in length