National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

About Us

In 1992, Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to lead a nationwide effort to honor America’s fallen firefighters.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is the only fire service organization that represents every facet of the  American fire service—career, contractor, military, volunteer, and wildland.

The Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. It is registered as a corporation in the State of Maryland. When Congress created the  Foundation, it did not provide funding or financial assistance, so the Foundation relies on funding through private donations from caring individuals, organizations, corporations, federal grants, and other foundations.

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Our Mission & Vision

Our mission is to honor America’s fallen fire heroes; 
support their families, colleagues, and organizations; and work to reduce preventable firefighter death and injury.

Our Foundation will be:
  • An organization with programs that provide meaningful reductions in the number of firefighter fatalities and injuries.
  • Recognized and looked upon as the national organization that provides the highest level of support to families of fallen firefighters.
  • A leading advocate of fire prevention and fire safety.
  • Financially self-sustaining.
  • An effectively managed organization adaptive to the ever-changing environment.
  • An organization capable of immediately responding to situations that involve the loss of fire service life.

About the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Since 1992, we have developed and expanded programs that fulfill that mandate.

Help families attend the Weekend​

Each year, the Foundation sponsors the official national tribute to all firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year. Thousands attend the weekend activities held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The Weekend features special programs for families and co-workers along with moving public ceremonies.

The Foundation provides travel, lodging, and meals for immediate family members of fallen firefighters being honored. This allows families to participate in Family Day sessions conducted by trained grief counselors and in the private and public tributes.

Offer support programs for Fire Hero families

When a firefighter dies in the line of duty, the Foundation provides families with a place to turn. Families receive emotional assistance through a Fire Hero Family Network, which matches families with similar experiences and circumstances. Families receive a quarterly newsletter and specialized grief publications. Our website provides extensive information on benefits, Foundation programs, and other resources.

Award scholarships to Fire Hero family members

Spouses, life partners, children, and stepchildren of fallen firefighters are eligible for scholarship assistance for education and job training costs.

Help departments deal with line-of-duty deaths

Under a Department of Justice grant, the Foundation offers training to help fire departments handle a line-of-duty death. Departments receive extensive pre-incident planning support. Immediately after a death, a Chief-to-Chief Network provides technical assistance and personal support to help the department and the family.

Work to prevent line-of-duty deaths and injuries

With the support of fire and life safety organizations, the Foundation has launched a major initiative to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries. Our goal is to reduce line-of-duty firefighter deaths by 25 percent in 5 years.

Create a National Memorial Park

The Foundation is expanding the national memorial site in Emmitsburg, Maryland, to create the first permanent national park honoring all firefighters. The park includes a brick Walk of Honor® that connects the Memorial Chapel and the official national monument.

A grant from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance supports programs for families of fallen firefighters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency partners with the Foundation to sponsor many of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend activities. The National Institute of Standards and Technology supports work on a national research agenda to prevent line-of-duty deaths and injuries.