But those who lost their lives in the line of duty will not be forgotten.
Emmitsburg. Md (KM). It usually brings thousands of people to Emmitsburg each year. But the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation says the Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial service will not be held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. .
Executive Director Ron Siarnicki said the families of the fallen were concerned about contracting the coronavirus while traveling. They also worried it could spread during the event. “Our families said ‘we’re okay with waiting until this is somewhat quieted down. We would rather you postpone and look at our safety and the safety of everyone in attendance for next year,” he said.
Siarnicki says it’s important to ensure the health and safety of families of the fallen who attend the event each year. “Even though our event is outside normally. But had there been rain and we’re forced to go inside, there’s still the potential of some kind of exposures. And that would be an even bigger tragedy to lose a family member of a fallen fire fighter to the pandemic,” he says.
But the 103 fallen fire fighters will not be forgotten. Siarnicki says a video honoring these men and women will be broadcast over social media on Sunday, October 4th, beginning at 10:00 AM, which is normally when the fallen fire fighters ceremony starts. “We’ve asked the families to give us photographs of their family members, along with some background information and a short bio of each one,” he says.
One of the fallen who will be honored is Fire Fighter Mike Powers of the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Company, who lost his life while working at an accident scene on I-70.
This video will also contain comments from featured speakers.
If the COVID-19 pandemic eases next year, Siarnicki says there are plans to hold a fallen fire fighters ceremony in Emmitsburg. “We have the 2019 fire fighters, the 2020 fire fighters, and we’ll have the fire fighters that have died as a result of COVID-19,” he says. “And as of today, 84 fire and EMS personnel have died just this year from COVID-19.”
“It could very well be a service that looks at 250, 260 fallen heroes that we have to honor in Emmitsburg next October,”: says Siarnicki.
To learn more about the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation, go on line to www.firehero.org.
By Kevin McManus