Winter 2021 Newsletter

The Foundation Trumpet Newsletter

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Liza Aunkst

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Board Spotlight

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Welcomes Advisory Committee Member

The Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Liza Aunkst to the Board of Directors’ Advisory Committee. Liza is the daughter of Firefighter Michael Aunkst, of the Benedict Volunteer Fire Department (NE), who died in the line of duty in 2005.

Read More About Liza


Steven Sasser

Winner of the Custom NFFF Guitar Sweepstakes Announced

The Foundation congratulates Steven Sasser of Goldsboro, North Carolina, the winner of our Custom Guitar Sweepstakes. Sasser won the custom painted, one-of-a-kind Fender Stratocaster, featuring the NFFF logo in the recent contest, held to raise money to help the families of fallen firefighters.


Firefighter Hero Award

NFFF and Maglite Honors Novato Firefighter/ Paramedic Nicole Scott with the Firefighter Hero Award

On January 13, 2021, Novato Fire Protection District Firefighter/Paramedic Nicole Scott received the Firefighter Hero Award for her leadership in addressing the behavioral health of firefighters. The Firefighter Hero Award program is a joint effort between MAGLITE® and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The program periodically honors single firefighters, groups, or whole departments for extraordinary commitment to upholding excellence in firefighting and related activities.

Fire Hero Family Programs News

Scholarships 2021-2022


Apply for a 2021-2022 NFFF Scholarship

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s scholarship programs, enable spouses, life partners, children, and stepchildren of our fallen firefighters pursue their educational and career goals. Apply by March 1, 2021.
» Download Our Scholarship Q&A

Find Other Educational Assistance

In addition to the Foundation’s scholarships, families of fallen firefighters may be eligible for educational assistance from other programs. Please contact these agencies and organizations directly for more information.
» PSOEA Program | State Benefits | W. H. McClennan Scholarship | 9/11 Promise Scholarships | Other Programs

Fire Hero Family Featured Events

Men Forging Ahead- Reuben Round-Up

A Monthly Series for Fire Hero Family Men

Men Forging Ahead:
Reuben Round-Up

Make your best Reuben as we gather for a virtual Reuben Round-up at 3:00 pm (EST) on Saturday, February 27, 2021. Join the NFFF’s Eric Nagle as he hosts the monthly Men Forging Ahead virtual meeting to promote the support benefits that comes from unity within the Fire Hero Family community!

Monthly Support for Fire Hero Families

Remembrance Groups

We know that the anniversary of a loved one’s death often brings up a difficult mix of memories and emotions that results in a huge wave of grief. This new effort to help support family members during the anniversary month of their firefighters’ death. Each month we will hold a virtual support group for families whose firefighter died during that month.

Monthly Remembrance Groups
Other Upcoming Virtual Support Groups

Virtual Facilitated Support Groups

Facilitated Support Group
January 31, 2023, 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Facilitated Support Group
February 14, 2023, 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Facilitated Support Group
February 21, 2023, 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Facilitated Support Group
February 28, 2023, 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Facilitated Support Group
March 7, 2023, 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Virtual Peer Support Groups

Virtual Peer Support Group
February 1, 2023, 8:00pm – 9:15pm

Virtual Peer Support Group
February 8, 2023, 8:00pm – 9:15pm

Virtual Peer Support Group
February 15, 2023, 8:00pm – 9:15pm

Virtual Peer Support Group
February 22, 2023, 8:00pm – 9:15pm

Virtual Peer Support Group
March 1, 2023, 8:00pm – 9:15pm


Strategies for Coping with Grief

In this brief video series, Michele Neff Hernandez, Founder and Executive Director of Soaring Spirits International, discusses some of the difficult aspects of grief and strategies for handling them.


Grit, Growth, and Grace: For Widowed People

In November of 2020, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation introduced a series of virtual workshops designed to build community among Fire Hero Family members who have been widowed. Although the series ended in February 2021, we are pleased to offer these recorded sessions featuring Michele Neff Hernandez, the Founder and Executive Director of Soaring Spirits International.

Excellent program, right on target with issues we face.
Done in a very thoughtful and supportive manner.


A Look Back at Our 2020 Fire Hero Family Programs

New Beginnings, New Approaches

New Beginnings, New Approaches

We can all agree that 2020 was a year like none we have ever seen. The COVID pandemic brought collective loss and separation. Despite this additional challenge, we have worked to develop new approaches to help our community. Indeed, the ability to adapt to new circumstances is at the core of resilience and post-traumatic growth.

Fire Service Programs News

“The Buck Stops Here” – Improving Firefighter and Community Safety

More than 70 years later, Truman’s legacy lives on in the form of the Truman Fire Forum Working Group. The group’s members are dedicated to preventing fires, advocating for safe communities, and preventing firefighter line-of-duty (LODD) deaths. The report from the Truman Working Group and its partner the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation focuses on promoting firefighter and community safety.

Fire Service Research Agenda & 18 Priorities for Fire Prevention

Truman Fire Forum Working Group - December 2019


Help Shape the Future of the Fire Service

National Fire Service Research Agenda Symposium will be held to identify areas where research is needed

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will host the National Fire Service Research Agenda Symposium virtually in February and March to prioritize research that promotes firefighter safety, wellness, and efficiency. This Symposium, which is composed of researchers and practitioners, will be held online from February 15 through March 10, 2021. We arer partnering with Underwriters Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute to convene the program.


Incident Commander-to-Incident Commander Webinar Series

In the Incident Commander Webinar Series National LAST Coordinator Ian Bennett and special guests discuss the incidents, their aftermath, the impact it had, and offer insight into what happens when an incident commander suffers a line-of-duty death on their watch.

This episode features Assistant Fire Chief Joe Ondrasek, Bryan Fire Department (TX), incident commander of a fire in a Knights of Columbus Hall where two firefighters died in the line-of-duty in Bryan, Texas on February 16, 2013.

IC to IC Network


After the Fire Podcast

After the Fire Podcast – Episode 5

In this episode, we discuss the 2019 McMicken Explosion and near-miss incident of Surprise, Arizona where multiple first responders were blasted over 75 feet as a result of an explosion of a lithium-ion battery energy storage facility.

» Listen to More After the Fire Podcast Episodes «


National First Responder Covid-19 Grant Relief Program

The National First Responder Covid-19 Grant Relief Program has been established to provide financial support to first responders and their families in need during the current COVID-19 pandemic. This micro-grant application will be open until funding is no longer available.

First Responder Center for Excellence News

Like many of the programs within the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way we conduct business at the First Repsonder Center for Excellence (FRCE). We had to step back and re-evaluate our scope and practices while still fulfilling our mission to protect the lives and livelihoods of first responders, nationwide. FRCE staff worked with our advisory committees to redirect some of our focus to COVID-19 education and best practices. We remain dedicated to our core mission of education and research initiatives that shed new light on challenges to health, safety, and well-being of firefighters, EMS personnel, and other first responders to reduce line-of-duty injuries and deaths as well as occupational illnesses.

Encourage Crews to Check Their Fitness with the NFPA 1582 Annual Physical Toolkit

The FRCE offers free support tools to help you promote the NFPA 1582 annual physical among first responders. The goal is for them to schedule their physical during the same month as their birthday. While the physical is mandatory for all active firefighters and EMS personnel, promoting its benefits and peace of mind helps to encourage their participation. These tools may be downloaded free or ordered and shipped to you from the FRCE.

NFPA 1582 PowerPoint presentation

Firefighter Physicals & NFPA 1582

Upcoming First Repsonder Center for Excellence Events
No Events

Coming Soon!

Online training to assist first responders and healthcare workers in dealing with stress and trauma related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FRCE Training

Stress First Aid Training

Stress First Aid training courses can help identify and address post‑traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and depression, which happen frequently among active firefighters and EMS personnel. With regular monitoring and prompt intervention, healing can begin, and confidence, mental acuity and sense of purpose can be restored.

Request Stress First Aid Training:

Ways to Help

NFFF Expands Matching Gifts Program

For non-profit organizations such as the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, every dollar counts. Our Supporters can now increase the power of their donations by double (or more!) through the NFFF Matching Gifts Program.

Matching Gifts


Tribute Wine Cellar Clean Out Sale

Distant Cellars is getting ready to release the newest label of Tribute, but first needs to make room in their cellar. For the first time ever, they will be offering a sale on this amazing wine that supports our mission at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

  • Get 15% off 3 bottles
  • Get 25% off 6 bottles
  • Get 35% off of 12 bottles or more!
Tribute Red Blend

Start an Online Fundraiser to Support the NFFF

Calvin Waters

How YOU Can Be an Everyday Hero

Calvin Waters started fundraising for the Foundation as a golf tournament coordinator in 2017, in South Carolina, and continued to host his tournament after he moved to Mississippi. He is also the coordinator for the Gamers for the Fallen online gaming group, which uses Twitch as a streaming service and asks for donations to the NFFF.

Everyday Hero

Being an Everyday Hero to Firefighters & Their Families is Easy

You can be an everyday hero to the families and co-workers of America’s fallen firefighters by fundraising for the NFFF. When support the Foundation you help us honor and remember America’s fallen fire heroes, assist their families, and prevent firefighter line-of-duty deaths and injuries.


Honor a Hero on the Walk of Honor®

Last October, we paid tribute to the 103 firefighters who died in the line of duty while serving their communities as part of America’s Tribute to Fallen Firefighters. These men and women will be honored in Emmitsburg, Maryland at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in October 2021. You can join us in honoring a hero on our Walk of Honor® in National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park by placing a brick in their memory.


Debit Card

Honoring Heroes. The Thin Red Line Debit Card.

The Thin Red Line Checking Account and Debit Card is the first in our series of community checking accounts. Honoring our everyday heroes and supporting organizations with every swipe of the card, firefighters and their family members can pay with pride while supporting the NFFF.
» Open Yours Today!


C4 Supports the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

To show their support for the firefighters who have put their lives on the line time and time again to rescue people and pets, C4 has created a lineup of Red Line dog collars, watch bands, and belts. They have designed these new products and donated to important causes that support their mission to help make a difference in the world.

C4 Red Line Dog Collar

Upcoming Events
Men Forging Ahead- Reuben Round-Up

Scholarships 2021-2022

Virtual Camp HAL 2021

Peer Support Programs for the Fire Service