Fire Service Resources

Chief to Chief Network

A line-of-duty death forever changes the fire department or agency and the community.

So where does a chief turn for support after this tragedy?

The Chief-to-Chief Network grew out of a need expressed by chiefs who had lost a firefighter in the line of duty. They said that they felt very isolated after the death of a firefighter, that they had no one to turn to for advice and support.

The Foundation has established a network of senior fire officers who have one thing in common. They have all experienced the death of a firefighter in the line of duty and understand what a department goes through.

Chief to Chief Network

How It Works

Immediately after learning about a line-of-duty death, the Foundation gathers information about the incident and the fire department.

Any Chief who would like to talk to a Network Chief can do so by completing the information request form below. A member of the Foundations team will be in touch within 24 hours to gather more information in order to match up an appropriate Chief. The Foundation will arrange for a Chief-to-Chief contact.

We then arrange for a chief-to-chief contact, matching chiefs by criteria such as department size and location, career or volunteer status and the nature of the incident.

Chief-to-Chief Support

Network members share information on issues:

All discussions are confidential.

Immediate Support: First 24 Hours

The Foundation also identifies a fire service officer or chaplain in a nearby area who can personally provide funeral guides and other resources within the first 24 hours. These officers have gone through training based on information gleaned by Chiefs who have been there.

Insights From Chiefs

Here are some insights from chief officers who have experienced the death of a firefighter under their command. Included are suggestions they would make to others facing a similar situation.

  • A LODD, especially a multiple fatality or a high profile death, permanently changes the department and the community.
  • Officers have to be officers, which may mean not being a part of the camaraderie at the firehouse.
  • Command abilities need to be tested, just as operations and other areas are tested and simulated before an emergency occurs.
  • Implementing increased safety measures can be unpopular and lonely.
  • Investigating agencies are going to find fault with your department. Be prepared to answer.
  • I called my own pastor on the phone from the hospital and took a few minutes to talk with him.
  • I needed time alone.
  • I kept a journal of my thoughts in the early days after the death, so I could have it for reference later.
  • Individual and family counseling
  • Support and outreach from other chiefs who have dealt with line-of-duty death
    • What you do to make things better will be the benchmark you leave after a line-of-duty death. You must make changes for the better.
    • Threw out the old standards and started from scratch.
    • Implemented a department fitness program
    • Pushed for presumptive findings Insisted that firefighters follow all safety protocols religiously
    • Reached out to other chiefs after line-of-duty death

    Request More Information

    For more information, contact the Foundation using the form below.

    Fill out my online form.