Fire Hero Families, from Alaska to the U.S. Virgin Islands, will attend the 41st Annual National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Memorial Weekend in Emmitsburg, MD, October 8-9, 2022.
This national tribute honors the 148 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2021 and several who died in previous years. Each firefighter’s name will be inscribed on a bronze plaque and become a permanent part of the National Memorial in honor of their sacrifices. Some of the honorees include:
Air Tactical Group Supervisor Jeff Piechura, 63, and Air Attack Pilot Matthew Miller, 49, supported air operations at the Cedar Basin Fire in Mohave County, Arizona, when their turboprop fixed-wing aircraft crashed on July 10, 2021. Both aerial firefighters died in the accident.
Lonnie Bolar, 46, Chief of Waynoka Volunteer Fire Department, and Volunteer Firefighter Tayler Bradford, 29, responded to a residential fire in Waynoka, Oklahoma, on January 29, 2021. Bolar and Bradford entered the home, finding a man and a woman. While attempting to perform rescues, the roof collapsed, killing Bolar, Bradford, and the occupants.
Wildland firefighter Selinde Roosenburg, 20, died from injuries sustained in a UTV accident. A member of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, she was participating in a prescribed burn at the Richard Furnace State Forest in Washington Township, Ohio, at the time of the crash.
See the list of fallen firefighters being honored here: 2022 Roll of Honor.
The NFFF recognizes family members and fellow firefighters as survivors, offering support to both. The weekend is a time for sharing, healing, and commemorating each firefighter’s commitment to public duty.
On Saturday, October 8, the families of America’s fallen firefighters will gather for an emotional Candlelight Service. As part of the ceremony, returning survivors share the light from the Remembrance Candle, a symbol of the hope and enduring friendship shared by all who have lost a firefighter.
Sunday morning, October 9, Fire Hero Families participate in the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, where the nation expresses its gratitude for the service of their loved one. The NFFF presents each family with an American flag flown over the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and the U.S. Capitol, a badge, and a rose.
Emmy Award-winning journalist Michelle Sigona will emcee the Sunday Memorial Service. Her work includes CBS News, 48 Hours, America’s Most Wanted, and currently Wanted airing on A&E. For more than 20 years, Michelle has served her community as a volunteer firefighter.
Saturday, October 8, 2022
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM (ET)
Sunday, October 9, 2022
National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (ET)
Location: National Fire Academy Campus, 16835 S. Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, MD
Parking for the public will be at the Mount Saint Mary’s PNC Sports Complex, 16300 Old Emmitsburg Road, Emmitsburg, MD.
Viewers can watch live feeds from both services on the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation webpage at firehero.org.
Two additional events occur in communities across the nation. From October 2-9, districts can participate in the national remembrance by lighting homes and landmarks in “RED.” Fire departments, businesses, families, and others Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters leading up to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday.
To conclude the weekend, bells will ring from coast to coast as a grateful nation pauses on Sunday for Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters. For more information on both events, visit firehero.org.