Family Resources

Hal Bruno Camp for Children of Fallen Firefighters 2023

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.

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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

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.

Focusing Our Energy

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

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

Jenny Woodall

Jenny Woodall

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

Marcel Proust

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.

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.

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

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.