Family Resources

Grief in Progress: A New Podcast Series from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Everyone’s journey through grief is unique. But shared stories can be a powerful tool of hope for those who have experienced sudden loss. Grief in Progress inspires listeners with messages of resilience from peers who have found their own ways to cope. The compelling episodes feature one-on-one conversations with spouses, children, and life partners of fallen firefighters—but the perspectives they share will resonate with anyone dealing with grief. Through the generosity of these Fire Hero Families, the open dialogue focuses on contemporary issues of grief and offers strategies to promote healing. Most of all, Grief in Progress inspires new ways of seeing the world and connecting with others after tragic loss.

Episode 1

Becoming a Change Maker After Loss

Grief in Progress​
Sharon Purdy’s firefighter husband, Lee, died of a heart attack in the line of duty. As a paramedic herself, Sharon was at the same fire and ran the code on her husband. In the days that followed, Sharon’s personal loss exposed a larger problem related to availability of survivor benefits. It wasn’t one that she could solve for herself—but nonetheless she felt compelled to make it right for future Fire Hero Families. Sharon used her own experience with loss to advocate for other family members, and her efforts led to the expansion of the Hometown Heroes program that provides benefits to survivors of public safety officers.


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

NFFF Connect

Fire Hero Family Perspective: Sandra Clinton

Sandra Clinton: My Memorial Weekend Experience

If you have only recently learned about the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, you are not alone. Many families aren’t introduced to the Foundation until after they’ve experienced a tragic loss.

Sandra Clinton was no exception—until she was notified that her husband Madison would be honored at Memorial Weekend 2019. That weekend became a springboard for her and her daughters, leading to ongoing involvement with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

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

Focusing Our Energy

Eric Nagle

Eric Nagle

Family Programs Specialist
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…
it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Vivian Greene

Beverly Donlon

Beverly Donlon

Director of Family Programs
Train your mind to see the good in everything. Positivity is a choice; the happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

Jenny Woodall

Jenny Woodall

Grief Specialist
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking
new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust

Erin Browning

Erin Browning

Outreach Assistant
Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day
is the rest we take between two deep breaths.

Etty Hillesum

Ashley Whitmore

Ashley Whitmore

Family Programs Support Specialist
If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
Martin Luther King Jr.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Family Resources

Fire Hero Family Network

Fire Hero Families can provide unique support to one another. Simply connecting with someone who has lost a firefighter can offer a sense of hope.

Survivor Benefits

Family Benefits

The NFFF has conducted extensive researchto identify the range of benefits available to survivors of firefighters who died in the line of duty.

Outward Bound 2018

Programs for Young Adults

For a child, losing a parent changes life forever, even into adulthood. The Foundation offers programs for young adults to focus on grief and on building life skills.


The NFFF offers assistance for post-secondary education/training to spouses, partners, children and stepchildren of firefighters.