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Memorial Weekend

Summer 2020 Newsletter

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America's Tribute to Fallen Firefighters

A Message from the Chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s Board of Directors

Our volunteers, staff and Board of Directors evaluated many options to continue the tradition of gathering in front of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial this October. While we are disappointed to postpone the 2020 Memorial Weekend events, it is important to know that the nation’s fallen firefighters will not be forgotten. On October 4, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will broadcast a National Tribute to honor America’s Fallen Firefighters.

Learn More About Our 2020 National Tribute

Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters 2020

Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters to Shine Bright in 2020

Even though we cannot be together in Emmitsburg this fall for the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, it is more important than ever to show our Fire Hero Families and firefighters that we will always honor and remember our nation’s heroes. The Foundation invites individuals, communities, organizations, landmarks, and fire departments to join us for Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters.

Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters 2020

Ring Out in Support for Fallen Firefighters and Their Families

Even during these extraordinary times, we find comfort and hope in coming together to support one another. This fall, communities can join us for the tribute to firefighters who died in the line of duty while protecting our neighborhoods. During this annual tribute, communities, faith congregations, and fire departments ring their bells on the weekend of the national tribute for fallen firefighters.

GuideStar’s Highest Seal of Transparency for National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Platinum Seal allows donors to focus on progress and results

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is proud to earn the 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency, which is the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar. The Foundation earned the 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency, by showcasing the progress and results we are making toward our mission!

NFFF Board Spotlight

Chief Charles Hood

NFFF Congratulates SAFD Chief Charles Hood on Being Selected Fire Chief of the Year

Chief Hood’s progressive leadership style and vision have resulted in many achievements over his 36 years dedicated to the fire service. The NFFF congratulates San Antonio Fire Department’s Fire Chief Charles Hood, on being selected as Metro Fire Chiefs Association’s Fire Chief of the Year, a prestigious honor voted on by the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, a group of 200-plus fire industry leaders from around the world.

Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki Elected CFSI National Advisory Committee Chairman

Chief Siarnicki is replacing Chief Greg Cade of the NFPA, who served as Chairman for three years. Chief Siarnicki served as the Vice Chair for two terms. Chief Craig Hannan of the IFSTA was chosen to fill Chief Siarnicki’s former position as Vice Chair.

Chief Ronald Jon Siarnicki

Vigilance During Times of Civil Unrest

Message to the Nation’s Fire Service from Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, Executive Director of the NFFF

Our mission also includes a focus on keeping firefighters safe. We urge each of you and your department to remain ever watchful and do all you can to return to your families safe and healthy. With that in mind, we’ve put together some important resources that may help you.

Read More
Firefighter Hero Award
Drew Gerken

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and MAGLITE® Honor Omaha Firefighter Drew Gerken with Firefighter Hero Award

Drew Gerken, of the Omaha Fire Department, assists families who have been affected by fires by organizing and delivering donated furniture to these families.
» Nominate a Firefighter Hero in Your Area

Fire Hero Family Programs News

Fire Hero Kids “Zoom” to Camp as NFFF Family Programs Go Virtual

Comfort Zone Camp 2020
Camp HAL

Kids Camps are offered every summer to two separate age groups: one for school-aged children and one for younger campers. The camps welcome children and step-children of any firefighter who has been honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland.


Documentary Focused on the Experience of Grievers and the Ways to Support Them Airs

Speaking Grief is a documentary aimed at creating a more grief-aware society by validating the experience of grievers and helping guide those who wish to support them. It aired on National Grief Awareness Day, August 30, 2020.



Resilience in the
Time of Covid

Having resilience means being able to recover quickly from difficulties. And never in this century has resilience proven more important than now! Over the years, we’ve spoken with many Fire Hero Families about how they have worked toward becoming more resilient.


2020 - 2021 Scholarship Recipients

NFFF Provides Transformative 100% Scholarship Awards Under Newly Restructured Program

This group of applicants is the first to receive scholarship awards under the Foundation’s newly restructured scholarship program. Under the new program, developed in consultation with our scholarship partners, awards are now based on an assessment of a student’s financial need and academic performance.


Columbia Southern University Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted

Columbia Southern University (CSU) will grant one scholarship to the spouse, life partner, or dependent of a firefighter who has been honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. This scholarship will cover up to 60 credit hours toward one online degree program of the recipient’s choice at CSU. The scholarship application period will close at 11:59 pm on October 2, 2020.

Columbia Southern University Scholarship Fund

Upcoming Virtual Support Groups

Virtual Facilitated Support Groups

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Virtual Peer Support Groups

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Families Staying Connected

NFFF Family Programs Is Now on Twitter

Just because we’ve gone virtual for the time being doesn’t mean we’ve slowed down! In fact, we are pleased to announce that you can now follow the NFFF Family Programs on Twitter.

Fire Hero Kids Now on Instagram

The Foundation has created a private Instagram account for children and step-children of honored firefighter parents. Here we will post updates about camps, peer support, scholarships and more!

You Can Also Stay Connected With Us On Facebook and By E-mail

Fire Service Programs News

Go Down Swinging – The Nathan Espinosa Story

“The Nathan Espinosa Story” tells the story of a Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) rookie firefighter who was seriously injured in a fire. The documentary also illustrates the actions taken by Chief Ralph Terrazas and LAFD to embark on cultural and operational changes in light of this event. The NFFF thanks Nathan, his family, Chief Terrazas and the LAFD for their willingness to share their experiences. This documentary is presented by the LAFD and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Stay tuned for the premier of the full documentary soon.

New Incident Commander Course Addresses the Impact of a Line-of-Duty Death and Prepares Officers

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, in cooperation with Stonehouse Media, is pleased to present When an LODD Occurs: Incident Commanders Speak, our latest resource for preparing incident commanders (IC) to cope with a firefighter line-of-duty (LODD).


Incident Commander Webinar Series

NFFF Connect: NFFF IC-to-IC Discussion – Boston Brownstone Fire

This webinar featured Chief Steven Shaffer, Boston Fire Department, the initial Incident Commander of a nine-alarm fire in four-story brick row house that killed two firefighters in Boston, Massachusetts on March 26, 2014. Chief Shaffer will discuss the incident and share his experiences in dealing with the aftermath.

» Watch Previous IC-to-IC Webinars
» Learn About Our IC to IC Program
» 16 Key Points for IC Recovery


Stories Wanted: Safety INsight Series To Explore Impact, History Of Fire Codes

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, in partnership with First Arriving, is looking for stories on how fire and life safety codes have impacted your community, department and personnel.

Upcoming Virtual Training Events

NFFF IC-to-IC Discussion: Philadelphia Fire

September 24, 2020 1:00 pm EDT

This webinar will feature Assistant Chief Robert Wilkins, Philadelphia Fire Department, who was the incident commander of a wind-driven house fire that killed a firefighter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 9, 2014. Chief Wilkins will discuss the incident and share his experiences in dealing with the aftermath.


UL FSRI Releases Research Report on Coordinated Fire Attack in Multi-Family Structures

The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute has released a new research report, “Analysis of the Coordination of Suppression and Ventilation in Multi-Family Dwellings” based on a series of experiments conducted as part of the “Study of Coordinated Fire Attack Utilizing Acquired Structures.”


Memorial Monday

Remembering the Blackwater Fire

A devastating wildland fire, known as the Blackater Fire, left 38 firefighters injured and 15 dead near Cody, Wyoming on August 21, 1937.

First Responder Center for Excellence News

Watch Highlights from the the Inaugural Symposium

FRCE Sets New Date for National Fire Service Behavioral Health Symposium

Out of concern for the health and safety of all involved, the First Responder Center for Excellence has postponed the Symposium, originally scheduled for October 2020. The conference will focus on the theme of “Boundaries, Resilience, and Post-traumatic Growth.”

Fire Service Behavioral Health Symposium

» Register Now – Discounted Registration Ends May 1, 2021 «

Ways to Help

Join Climbers Nationwide - National Stair Climb

Reflection and Respect Nationwide

Starting on September 11, 2020 through the end of the year, join climbers nationwide in honoring our 9/11 heroes. In 2020, virtual climbers will bring this national remembrance to their communities, personalizing their journey to “Never Forget.”

Personalize Your Climb to Never Forget

An expanded 9/11 Stair Climb program includes virtual events and toolkit, making this annual remembrance globally accessible

Each year, firefighters and communities gather at 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb events across the U.S. to remember the brave men and women that died on September 11, 2001. This annual tradition will continue in 2020, with many of our local climbs expanding to include virtual options or adapting to an all-virtual format to adhere to varying social distancing and travel guidelines.

Fill the Boot

Fill the Boot for Fallen Firefighters

A time-honored tradition in the Fire Service, “Fill the Boot” campaigns traditionally raised funds in the community that were crucial for maintaining a fire department including equipment, apparatus, and other department needs. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation asks you to be an “everydayhero” to our community by starting your own fundraiser.

Beware of Calls Soliciting Donations for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

We remind individuals that the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation does not now, and never has, solicited individual donations over the phone.
» Learn: 3 Things You Can Do If You Suspect Fraud

Upcoming Events

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Virtual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climbs

Pass it On 3: Making Good Progress