National Fallen Firefighters Service Day.
The Frederick Board of County Commissioners today announced that the board will present a proclamation during the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, October 5 – 6, which calls upon the citizens of Frederick County to honor firefighters and emergency services personnel who have sacrificed their lives in the service of their communities.
As a result of the Federal government shutdown, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) is readying backup locations for this weekend's ceremonies to honor 81 firefighters who died in the line of duty. The temporary closing of the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Md., home of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, will not stop the nation from honoring its heroes, according to NFFF. With assistance from the Elizabeth Ann Seton Daughters of Charity and Mount St. Mary's University, the candlelight vigil on October 5 and the Memorial Service on October 6 will go on as planned. For details about the memorial weekend, visit http://weekend.firehero.org
Board President Blaine Young commented, "We are honored that Frederick County is the home of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and we support their activities to honor past and present firefighters and emergency personnel who play an essential role in the protection of lives and property in our local community. We join with the foundation in emphasizing the importance of increasing our efforts to reduce deaths, injuries and property losses from fire.
"The proclamation we will present at the memorial ceremony calls upon Frederick County citizens and all patriotic, civic and educational organizations to recognize the service and dedicated efforts of our fire and emergency services personnel by lowering flags on all buildings to half-staff from sunrise to sundown on Sunday, October 6.
"In addition, we are pleased that Chief Denise Pouget of the Division of Fire & Rescue Services has encouraged all fire stations to sound their sirens at Noon on Sunday as a reminder for all citizens to pause for a moment of silence in memory and appreciation of all our fallen firefighters. The sirens should not be a cause for concern about any adverse incident, but a means of remembering our men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice."
Frederick County Government facilities will also post flags at half-staff in honor of the Fallen Firefighter Service Day on October 6.
As part of the memorial weekend, citizens are invited to pay tribute to a fallen firefighter or share a special memorial weekend story on the NFFF virtual remembrance banner at http://weekend.firehero.org/remembrance/banner.php
In addition, the Division of Fire & Rescue Services has posted the National Fallen Firefighters Tribute Widget at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/DFRS which lists American firefighters who have died in the line of duty. This is a free service provided by NFFF.
For those who cannot attend the candlelight and memorial services in person, NFFF will provide live satellite broadcasts and web streaming of the events at http://weekend.firehero.org/live . The candlelight service will be broadcast on Saturday, October 5, from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. and the memorial service will be broadcast on Sunday, October 6, from 9:30 a.m. – Noon.
"Our priority is to make sure the survivors receive the support, resources and respect they need and deserve. Therefore, the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend will occur, regardless of what happens on Capitol Hill," said Chief Ronald Siarnicki, executive director of the NFFF. "We felt it was better to prepare in advance for the potential shutdown than to wait for a decision from Congress."
Thanks to donations of staffing and facilities from the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company, the Town of Emmitsburg, Anne Arundel County Fire Department, Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services and Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, the NFFF has moved its headquarters to the Emmitsburg Ambulance Building for the week.
"All those who are helping understand that Memorial Weekend is an important step in a survivor's journey. While our physical location may have to change, the foundation's mission remains the same -- helping the loved ones of the fallen along their path towards healing," said Siarnicki.
For more information, contact the foundation at 301-447-1365 or visit their Facebook page at "National Fallen Firefighters Foundation .