Weekend Memorial to Honor Fallen Firefighters

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Fire Administration have recently announced that the 26th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend will be held Oct. 6-7, 2007.

A plaque with the names of 87 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2006 will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, located at the National Fire Academy campus in Emmitsburg, Md. The names of 4 firefighters who died in previous years will also be added. The plaques surrounding the memorial, which was established in 1981, contain the names of more than 3,100 firefighters.

Thirty-three states experienced line-of-duty deaths in 2006. 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, drowning, and burns. Five multiple fatality incidents accounted for 15 deaths. Two multiple fatality incidents occurred at structural fires, while the other three occurred during air operations or while fighting wild fires. Wildland fires, controlled burns, and air craft training/certification for wildland protection resulted in 20 fatalities. New York suffered the greatest number of line-of-duty firefighter deaths in 2006 with 12, followed by North Carolina with nine, California with eight, and New Jersey with five.

"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," said Hal Bruno, NFFF Board of Directors chairman. "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, call 301-447-1365 or visit www.firehero.org. There will be live internet broadcasts of both the luminary services on Oct. 6 (5:45 p.m.-9 p.m. EST) and the memorial service on Oct. 7 (10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST).

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