The names of 87 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2006, along with four firefighters who died in previous years, will be inscribed on a plaque and added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. The plaques surrounding the memorial, which was established in 1981 and is located on the National Fire Academy campus, will contain the names of more than 3,100 firefighters.
“Survivors and members of the fire service travel from across the country to honor their loved ones and fallen comrades at the Memorial Weekend,” said Hal Bruno, chairman of the National Fallen Fireman board of directors. “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.”
Thirty-three states experienced firefighter 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 at the incident scene, falls, heart attacks, helicopter crashes, drowning and burns. New York suffered the nation’s 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.
The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend has honored the nation’s fallen firefighters since 1982. This year’s events include activities for surviving relatives, an evening candlelight service and a traditional memorial service with a procession honoring America’s firefighters and their families.
American flags across the country will be lowered to half-mast on Sunday, Oct. 7 in recognition of the men and women who died protecting their communities from fires.