Close this search box.
Handling a LODD

Handling a Line-of-Duty Death

Report a Line-of-Duty Death

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is committed to providing support to family members and fire departments of firefighters who died in the line-of-duty.
The resources provided are intended to help guide family members and fire departments through the difficult aftermath of a line-of-duty death.

Criteria for Inclusion on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial

Names added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial each year represent those line-of-duty deaths approved as eligible for inclusion from the previous calendar year (January 1 – December 31). All required documentation for cases in the previous year must be received by January 31st to be considered for inclusion that year.

Acceptance for inclusion on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial doesn’t impact decisions made by the federal government regarding Public Safety Officers’ Benefits.

Project Roll Call identifies and honors firefighters who died in the line-of-duty prior to 1981, the establishment of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

Immediate Needs

The resources developed by the NFFF and partner organizations are provided to help a fire department after a firefighter fatality. The NFFF appreciates fire departments and other organizations for sharing their resources. The checklist should be considered a starting point to help guide a department through the immediate aftermath of a firefighter fatality.

Funeral/Memorial Service Planning

The NFFF has collected standard operating procedures and guidelines from fire departments and fire service agencies to assist with funeral and memorial planning and operations.
Eulogy Guidelines

If you are asked to deliver a eulogy for a fallen firefighter, here are a few guidelines to help prepare your thoughts.

Triple check the key facts: name, nicknames, names (and pronunciations) of family members, names of closest friends, timeline of key events in the firefighter’s life, accomplishments, awards, etc.
Ask friends and family members for stories related to how they want their firefighter to be remembered. If you use one of these stories, be sure to acknowledge the source in your eulogy. For example, “Jim’s daughter told me…”
It may be helpful to use a theme to tie your eulogy together and provide you a structure. For example, “three things I will always remember about Mike” or “Lisa always reached out to help other people.”
View the eulogy in three parts: opening, stories, closing. In the opening, be sure to express your condolence’s and the department’s sense of loss. Also acknowledge family members. Include stories of your own or from other people. It’s okay to use humor and show emotion. In closing, include a personal statement of support and if appropriate, a statement of support from the fire department. Be sure to promise only what can be fulfilled.
Practice the eulogy more than you think you need to practice. Also, practice it in front of someone who can provide you honest, supportive feedback.
Have some other stories prepared in case other speakers tell your stories first. Also, feel free to ask someone to serve as backup in case you are overcome with emotion and unable to complete the eulogy.
Remember the sincerity of your words is what is most important, not the delivery of the eulogy. Eulogies are intended to comfort the living and honor the fallen.

After the Funeral/Memorial Service

The Department of Justice and other agencies (governmental and private) may provide financial benefits to families of firefighters who died in the line of duty. Benefits vary based on specific eligibility criteria. The information provided is advisory and should not be cited as evidence or proof a firefighter’s family is eligible for the benefit. The NFFF’s LAST team may be able to assist the fire department and/or family with benefit information.
State Memorials
Many states have built memorials that pay tribute to firefighters who have died in the line of duty.
Honoring the Fallen
There are many meaningful ways to honor a fallen firefighter. The Foundation continues to collect several examples of tributes that can be implemented in under a year and can be accomplished with a small group of motivated people.

Grief Support

For Family Members

We recognize that coping with the loss of a loved one is a challenging and lengthy process, and we are here to provide you with immediate and ongoing support. Above all, we want you to understand that you are not alone in this journey. While every person’s experience of loss is unique, there are numerous families who have faced similar circumstances.

For Fire Department Members

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation provides unwavering support to fire departments in the aftermath of a line-of-duty death. Through comprehensive line-of-duty death resources, peer support, they offer comfort, guidance, and assistance to the families and colleagues of fallen firefighters, ensuring the well-being of the fire service community.