Make sure you take some time to sit down and watch this video from the Chicago Fire Department and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. It is a good way to start the new year.
It was produced and directed by the extremely talented Rob Maloney and managed for NFFF by JoEllen Kelly (I would call her the executive producer).
A special, special thank you from Rob, JoEllen, the leadership at NFFF and me to our regular STATter911.com contributor Steve Redick. Steve, graciously opened up his video library to Rob and NFFF for this project.
Of course, these stories could not be told without the cooperation and compassion of Commissioner Robert Hoff, IAFF Local 2, the men and women of the department and the survivors of fallen firefighters from CFD.
I am heading up to Emmitsburg tomorrow to get ready for the 2011 Memorial Weekend of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. I know I will see some of you there before the week is out. Those who won't be joining us in person can still help pay tribute to the 89 firefighters whose names will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial on Sunday.
Probably one of the most effective ways to get involved is to help increase the awareness of Memorial Weekend. You can start by making sure your fire department's website, your personal website or blog and the websites for your local news media are part of the FireHero Network by carrying the live streaming of Saturday's Candlelight Service and Sunday's Memorial Service. It is simple to do. Click here for the details. This is the fifth year the services have been live on the Internet. The worldwide audience tripled last year thanks to the scores of websites that joined the network.
Another way is to contact your place of worship about participating in Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters. It's a wonderful program that gets the public involved in remembering the fallen. Read about it here.
You will be able to follow the weekend events through social media. NFFF has a team of firefighters on campus in Emmitsburg who will be providing pictures, video and details from the entire weekend via Facebook and Twitter. Please help us keep the fire service and the public informed by sharing and Retweeting.
For the second year, the Virtual Remembrance Banner is available for anyone to pay tribute to a fallen firefighter or share a special memory of Memorial Weekend. It’s a wonderful way for family, friends and others who can’t be in Emmitsburg to have a connection to the events.
This year VueTOO.com is providing the NFFF Memorial Weekend Foundation Ops Page. This will provide the various information streams from NFFF on one screen. It includes the live streaming, Memorial Weekend website, FireHero.org website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Click here to check it out.
There is a lot of other information about events and the firefighters who are being remembered that you can find on the Memorial Weekend website.
Of course we will have the live coverage from Memorial Weekend right here on STATter911.com. My wife, WTOP Radio's Hillary Howard and I are once again honored to host the two telecasts. Please join us either in person or on your computer.
Many of you have been following the Tour of Duty Run in its travels from Santa Monica Pier to Manhattan. The group of firefighters and other first responders from Australia and the United States left California on August 12 and are scheduled to arrive in New York on Saturday, September 11, having run through 20 states in 31 days. Very early on Labor Day morning the town of Emmitsburg, Maryland welcomed them for a visit to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
Click the image for Graham Cullen’s pictures in the Frederick News-Post.
After getting some rest at the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company they had a late breakfast at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation chapel. NFFF Executive Director Ron Siarnicki, Interim United States Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines, Emmitsburg Mayor Jim Hoover, Frederick County Commissioner Blaine Young, Maryland State Firemens Association First Vice President David Lewis and IAFF Local 3666 President John Neary were all on hand to greet the group.
Their coast-to-coast journey is to commemorate emergency personnel and victims who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The group of 36 is raising money for a variety of charities including the Tribute WTC Visitor Center, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, among others.
“When you’re running through the desert, everything seems quite distant,” said Michael Jones, a firefighter from Melbourne, Australia. “Things are becoming a lot more closer, a lot more personal.”
Jones said a team of American firefighters is with the Australians, but the concept of the cross-country run originated in Melbourne.
His colleague, Paul Ritchie, put out a call to every fire station in Australia for participation. They got sponsors and teamed with American firefighters.
The run is relay style. The firefighters are split into groups of 12 that go for six hours then break, Jones said.
Runners are staying in mobile homes along on route, but the air conditioning in the mobile units broke down, Australian firefighter Ben Erickson said.
“We were in 95 degree heat in Vegas, Phoenix, pretty much all the way to Texas.”
The Tour of Duty Run is headed to Washington, DC today and tomorrow.
(Full disclosure: I do work with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, including taking the video at the top of this story.)
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s Memorial Weekend is October 2 & 3 this year. Recently NFFF Executive Director Ron Siarnicki took a few moments to talk about this year’s ceremony and how you can help honor the 105 firefighters whose names will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland. (Full Disclosure: For those who aren’t aware, I now do work on media matters for the Foundation.)
Below are links to some of the things Chief Siarnicki mentions, plus a few other NFFF reminders:
Do you have the 2010 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend Tribute Widget on your website?
Honor the firefighters being remembered at this year’s Memorial Weekend by placing this special tribute on your website. Each day we will feature one of the 80 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2009 along with 25 who died in previous years. Firefighter Close Calls is one of the more than 100 websites and blogs carrying the widget so far. We challenge all firefighters to make sure your department has the widget added to its homepage. Get the code:http://weekend.firehero.org/widget/
A Memorial Weekend Tradition Now Online: Sign the Remembrance Banner
The Remembrance Banner is a Memorial Weekend tradition that allows family members to write messages to their fallen firefighters. Now everyone can pay tribute to a firefighter we have lost with this online Remembrance Banner. Write your thoughts about a relative, friend or colleague who has been honored at Emmitsburg. Also, if you’ve attended or volunteered at a previous Memorial Weekend, share a special memory with us or pay tribute to a fallen hero. The Virtual Remembrance Banner:http://weekend.firehero.org/remembrance/banner.php
Hurry – Tickets for the 3rd Annual Firefighter Appreciation Event at Dover’s Monster Mile® Are Going Fast!
Don’t miss out on this special event pre-race celebration and race No. 2 in the “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” at Dover! For just $99 you get: a race ticket, trackside tour, corporate style hospitality, and special guest appearances. Proceeds benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Get your tickets today: http://www.doverspeedway.com/nfff10 (Enter Code NFFF10)
Go To Bat for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation!
Team up with State Farm® and MLB® to support the charity of your choice and you could win a trip for 2 to the 2010 MLB® World Series® ! Simply pick the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) as your charity, play the Go To Bat game online and swing for the fences. Go to bat for us today: http://www.statefarm.com/gotobat
Early video of New Chicago, Indiana house fire: Edward Malik again beats the fire department to the scene. This time not in Gary, but to the east in New Chicago. The fire killed a a few pets.
REMINDER: Don’t forget to check our player to the right for lots of new videos from around the country. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Firefighter says she slept with supervisor in an effort to stop the harassment: Kate Ellis is suing the U.K.’s Hampshire Fire and Rescue. Ellis, as the only woman at her station, claims she had to endure constant jokes, leering and innuendo. Ellis testified she tried put an end to it by becoming a notch on the bedpost of her supervisor. Here’s the story that appears to be getting prominent play by Britain’s tabloids.
Click the image for more of Ian Haight's photos of a strip mall fire Thursday in Waterloo, Ontario.
Mayor says firefighters may be selling overtime shifts to help others inflate retirement: In Rochester, New York, Mayor Robert Duffy has notified Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that city firefighters may be padding pension payments. Duffy said it appears some firefighters were taking “kickbacks” to allow more senior members to inflate their wages in the final years in an effort to get a higher pension. The union says no proof of this was found in an investigation three-years-ago and calls the mayor’s actions retaliation. Click here for the details.
Two firefighters fall through roof of home: In Union, Missouri one of two firefighters who came crashing though the roof of a ranch style home in Union, Missouri is in a burn unit. They fell fifteen feet shortly after getting onto the roof to begin venting operations. Here’s the story.
After NIOSH urges a Massachusetts firefighter seat belt law, a look at policies outside Boston: Despite state law currently exempting firefighters from having to buckle up on the job, other Massachusetts chiefs say, unlike Boston, they require seat belts. Check it out.
Boston columnist says she wants to be a firefighter, mocking decision to give 19-percent raise over four-years: Despite her advanced age and “pathetic fitness level”, Boston Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham has written an open letter saying she wants to be a part of “Firefighterland”, “a beautiful place with no connection to the economy whatsoever”. Here’s an excerpt-
Elsewhere, the city is shutting libraries and giving school custodians the ax. But in Firefighterland, it’s all dollar signs and days off.
That’s because for four years, the firefighters union refused to give an inch during negotiations with the city. Instead, they attacked the mayor and tried to scare the public. It worked. That arbitrator in Albany just gave them a whopping 19 percent-plus pay increase over four years.
Award for Siarnicki: Former Prince George’s County, Maryland chief and National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Executive Director Ron Siarnicki recevied the Tom Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award at FDIC. During his acceptance speech Siarnicki announced military firefighters will now be included in the NFFF Memorial. Read coverage here and here.
Florida firefighter charged in home invasion: Investigators say Punta Gorda Firefighter Ernest Bowen is suspected of planning the robbery of a prominent family and getting more than 100k in jewelry and money. Here’s the story.
The volunteer shortage: Tom Lindtveit, who has contributed in various ways to STATter911.com, has a letter to the editor of Occupational Safey & Health magazine/online that is worth checking out. Captain Tom looks at the demands placed on volunteers and how it impacts recruitment and retention. Read the letter.