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We Will Never Forget Our Fallen Firefighters

Forest Service firefighters work to contain a wildland fire. (U.S. Forest Service)

Forest Service firefighters work to contain a wildland fire. (U.S. Forest Service)

Few would ever take jobs that require one to literally run toward fire—and possible death—but that’s exactly what countless firefighters did last year. Seventy-three of those heroes didn’t live to tell about it. Their deaths happened on U.S. Forest Service-managed lands, in public and privately-owned buildings and just about any place fire can burn.

These fallen firefighters were remembered during a tribute held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md. Oct.6. The National Firefighters Foundation has sponsored this national event every October since 1992 to honor all firefighters who died in the line of duty the previous year.

The event, National Firefighters Memorial Weekend, which was aired live on the Memorial Weekend’s website, included family, friends and co-workers sharing their stories about these courageous heroes and what gave them the mettle to do such brave work day after day, year after year sometimes for decades.

The firefighters were remembered with bronze plaques containing their names that will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, located on the academy campus.

The 19 firefighters who died in the Yarnell Hill Fire in June 2013, representing the greatest loss of life by firefighters on any given day since 9/11, will be included among the reading of names.

So that these courageous and compassionate men and women will never be forgotten, Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to lead a nationwide effort to honor America’s fallen firefighters.

A Forest Service firefighter battles a wildland fire. (U.S. Forest Service)

A Forest Service firefighter battles a wildland fire. (U.S. Forest Service)

2 Responses to “We Will Never Forget Our Fallen Firefighters”

  1. Kevin F. Moran says:

    How is it when we die, we are Forest Service Firefighters, and yet when we petition for the Firefighter title we are Forest Service technicians? Call it as it is and promote who we are. We are Firefighters. We fight more fire than 95% of the country’s Firefighters and we are called technicians. Don’t use that title so loosely.

  2. James Hedges says:

    Dear Mr. Westover,
    The term “FireFighter” appears 12 times in your article. How many times does it appear in the Forest Service job description for these individuals ??? Zero !! Is the answer. You’ll find Forestry Aid, Forestry Technician, or Supervisory Forestry Technician. I’m publicly denouncing you and your organization for 1.) Exploiting the thousands of your employees that perform full time firefighter duties while compensating them at a subservient level. 2)Continuing the blatant hypocrisy of extolling the virtues of ” Firefighter” memorials but when we ask to please classify our jobs as firefighters we are denied, decade after decade.
    We train, work and die like the Fire Fighters that we are, we demand to be compensated like Fire Fighters.

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