How Do You Honor Them?

With the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial weekend upon us, we all will take a moment to reflect on those that have been lost, not just this past year, but in years and decades past. Although some may never have been directly impacted by a Line of Duty Death, we all feel for the families, friends and fellow firefighters who have lost Brothers and Sisters.

Many of us will lower our flags, others will hold ceremonies and events, and some will be in front of their computers watching the live feeds on the internet to watch the event. Unfortunately, some will go about their everyday business and not think twice about what this weekend means. Those folks are just “employees” and are not engaged in the fire service.

Even for those of us that understand the significance of the upcoming weekend, do we really make it mean something? Do we do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen to us, our fellow Brothers and Sisters and our families? The answer is probably not.

As we mourn those we have lost and pray for them and their families, we must take inventory of ourselves. We must recommit this weekend to train more, train harder, stand up to the “slugs” of the fire service. We must wear our seat belts every time we get on our apparatus and demand that the rest of the crew do the same.

We must do a 360 on working fires. We must check our equipment every day and ensure that it is all in good working order. We must mentor, coach and encourage our younger generation of firefighter and instill in them the traditions, pride, honor and “right” way of doing things.

With all the things that we must do, we must recommit to taking care of ourselves. We must get in shape and eat healthier. We owe it to our citizens, our Brothers and Sisters, our families and to ourselves to be the best we can be every time we answer the call. In addition, if the leadership in your organization isn’t taking the lead on these issues, become that leader. Make a difference and stay engaged. It’s contagious and you will inspire someone.

So, tell us, what have you been doing to honor their sacrifices? What lessons have you learned and passed on to honor their sacrifices? How have you ensured that we “never forget” and honor those who have fallen?

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Jason Hoevelmann

Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal with the Sullivan Fire Protection District, a combination department, and a career firefighter/paramedic with the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District in North St. Louis County.
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Comments
Chris Sterricker
Really?!?!
Great read Jason. I liken this issue to the recent unfortunate events in Kentucky in which a firefighter was killed and another, his mother, seriously injured when struck at the scene of a car fire. The response to the tragedy was for the fire department to immediately institute a complete shut-down policy of any incident…
2014-08-27 00:39:49
Bill Carey
Really?!?!
Well written Jason; nice job. Bill Carey
2014-08-25 13:37:42
John Mallott
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Jason; Some good information the fire service is very dynamic and always changing. thanks for the article will share with the fire department officers for "food for thought" and some insight information..
2014-08-04 16:54:47
Billy Shockley
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Love to have the opportunity to train to be a firefighter
2014-07-18 21:00:13
dc802
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I will post the link today for the first video. I am attaching a video that also explains an online course that I offer for officer development. The next class is beginning Sept. 4, 2014. Look for the link on this page and at thenewfireofficer.com http://youtu.be/A9oXTQQhgP8 https://app.box.com/s/n4q0az6hrd296fyznaql This is the link for the first video.…
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