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Memorial Weekend

Family Resources

Wellness Conference - Rochester, New York

Fire Hero Families Gather in Rochester

The NFFF Family Programs team was joined by a terrific group of presenters and a dedicated group of local fire service members—all amidst the lovely backdrop of peaceful upstate New York.

Episode 6

Gratitude Tour: From Sea to Shining Sea

Grief in Progress​
Juliann Ashcraft and her husband Andrew were twenty-somethings with four young children when he died in the line of duty in Prescott, Arizona on June 30, 2013. In fact, he was one of 19 wildland firefighters who died in the line of duty that day, with just one member of the crew surviving. Overwhelmed with gratitude for the strangers who sent letters and cards and offered support, Ashcraft converted a 40-foot Greyhound bus into a home on wheels and hit the road with her kids on a gratitude tour that would take them across the United States. Juliann wrote about the tour on a blog, and in this episode she talks about how she’s always used her writing to process her thoughts and feelings. She also describes how she recently added the word “gift” to her personal definition of the word “grief”—for without her experience of losing Andrew, she would not be who she is today.

» Read More: NFFF Launches Grief Podcast to Foster Hope and Healing

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Forever in Our Hearts®
Resources for Families of Fallen Firefighters

Families of fallen firefighters face a long and difficult journey. While the rest of the world moves on, family members must figure out how to live without their loved one. The Foundation offers a variety of programs and materials to help during this most difficult time.

Most importantly, we want you to know that you are not alone. There are others who understand your loss and honor your loved one’s memory.

Fire Hero Family Programs

  • NFFF and Partner Scholarship Programs
    The Foundation offers financial assistance for post-secondary education and training to spouses, life partners, children and stepchildren of firefighters honored at the National Memorial.
  • Wellness Conference
    This special week of activities is designed to address issues related to loss, provide training for those providing outreach to others, and provide a chance to network with other fire hero families.
  • Virtual Support Groups
    Our virtual support groups provide a way for Fire Hero Families to connect with one another from their homes across the country throughout the year. No matter where you are located, you have free weekly opportunities to talk, listen, and share stories, struggles, and ideas.
  • Remembrance Program
    During the anniversary month of their firefighter’s death, families receive a Remembrance card from another fire hero family member.
  • Hal Bruno Camps for Children of Fallen Firefighters
    This is a weekend bereavement camp for children and stepchildren of fallen firefighters who have been honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg.
  • Men’s Retreat
    Often, men feel they must handle their emotions alone or they will show signs of weakness. Instead of emotional expression, men benefit greatly by being active. The Men’s Retreat is designed to help men gain knowledge and skills to understand and deal with grief and to build supports as they move forward.
  • Programs for Young Adults
    The Foundation offers programs for young adults, ages 18-24, whose firefighter parent died in the line of duty.
  • Memorial Weekend
    Every October, the Foundation sponsors the official national tribute to all firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year. The weekend features private activities for fire hero families and co-workers, along with public ceremonies.
  • Winter Family Retreat
    A multi-day event for all ages and family members, focused on fellowship, self-care, and giving back during the holidays.
  • National Fallen Firefighters Holiday Tree Lighting
    Each December, ornaments, holiday cards, and notes provided by Fire Hero Families adorn trees in and around the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel. These tributes in honor of fallen firefighters remain on display throughout the holiday season.

Family Benefit Information

To help with immediate and long-term financial concerns, we can help families find information on benefits available at the national level and in each state. The Foundation’s Scholarship Program can help fire hero families achieve their educational goals.

Fire Hero Family Resources and Information

Memorial Weekend Information

NFFF Connect

Self-Care and Wellness

Strategies for Coping with Grief

In this 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.

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Helping Others

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» Home Fire and Life Safety Tips During the COVID-19 Crisis «

Focusing Our Energy

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