Memorial Weekend

Fall 2020 Newsletter

The Foundation Trumpet Newsletter

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» Read More About the Firefighters Who Were Honored «


Adapt, Improvise, Overcome – Honoring Fire Heroes in the Time of Covid

Emmitsburg, Maryland was calmer than it should rightly have been on Saturday evening, October 3, 2020. What should have been a bustling National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend was instead a quieter time, as COVID-19 forced the cancellation of our official memorial events.

Lisa Hampton

Finding Family

Returning Family Member Lisa Hampton Recalls the Year Her Husband Daniel was Honored and Shares a Message of Hope for New Families

During this hard time of uncertainty, it is heartbreaking that we were not be able to be together in person. But Lisa Hampton finds comfort in knowing that her NFFF family is there for her if she needs someone to talk to, laugh with, cry, or just listen, there is always someone there.

Save the Date for the 40th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend on October 2 – 3, 2021


CFSI & NFFF Recognize Fire Departments for Their Commitment to Health and Safety

The Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award recognizes fire departments and organizations for embracing the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives. The recipients are the Clayton (DE) Fire Company, Prince George’s County (MD) Fire & Emergency Medical Services, and Sioux Falls (SD) Fire Rescue.


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Support Families of the Fallen and Enter for a Chance to Win

Now through December 31, 2020, you can enter for a chance to win a custom painted, one-of-a-kind Fender Stratocaster Guitar featuring the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation logo.


Firefighter Hero Award
Michael Stanley

NFFF and Maglite Honor Oshkosh Chief Michael Stanley with National Firefighter Hero Award

Chief Michael Stanley was honored with the National Firefighter Hero Award for his leadership in addressing fall prevention for older adults and many other contributions to the community.
» Nominate a Hero in Your Area

Fire Hero Family Programs News

Men Forging Ahead

Men Forging Ahead

Because everything’s better with BACON

Mark your calendar for the inaugural Men Forging Ahead virtual gathering! This casual event is coming to you LIVE from a backyard barbecue in the beautiful Colorado Mountains—and is open only to men who have had a fire hero honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland.


Grit, Grace, and Growth

Join Us Starting in November for Grit, Grace, and Growth

The Grit, Grace, and Growth workshop series is open to any fire hero family member of a firefighter honored at the National Memorial and whose spouse or life partner has died.

Register Now

Upcoming Sessions (All Sessions Are EST)

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A Season of Gratitude

As most enter November and December with our minds on the holidays. We reflect on the year and consider our individual and collective blessings. For fire hero families, the holidays don’t stop, but we try to reconcile our loss as the world around them shouts “joy,” “peace” and “love” all around us. As with everything, the path varies for each individual. But to a person, despite overwhelming loss, there is, nonetheless, a sense of gratitude and blessing.

“Gratitude doesn’t change the scenery. It merely washes clean the glass
you look through so you can clearly see the colors.”

– Richelle E. Goodric

An Attitude of Gratitude

Do you want to strengthen your immune system, lower the level of cortisol (stress hormone) in your body, reduce depression, improve sleep, reduce your blood pressure, increase your self-esteem, and improve how you see the world? If yes, try the practice of gratitude. Grateful people tend to have more positive coping strategies, feel higher levels of control in their lives, deal with problems directly and effectively (vs. denying or avoiding), have more self-acceptance, see more purpose in their lives, and have fewer negative thoughts and a more positive outlook on life.

Tanisha Hall


Tanisha Hall says that gratitude is one of the most essential components to receiving blessings and shifting our perspective on life. So she decided to share what she was grateful for on social media and learned that there is always something to be grateful for! Write down/post what you are grateful for, no matter how big or small for the next 30 days including #30DaysofGratitude.

Sylvia Kratzke and Heather DePaolo-Johnny

Gratitude Growing from Grief

Sylvia Kratzke notes, that as you work through your grief and begin to resume your everyday life, the absurdity of the petty squabbling world around you becomes glaringly apparent. What is truly important becomes crystal clear. And that feeling stays with you as you continue your journey through grief, day by day, moving forward to new life, your first reason to be grateful.

Seeds of Gratitude

Need an extra boost of hope and inspiration right now? At the 2019 Holiday Tree Lighting Service, Juliann Ashcraft, wife of Granite Mountain Hotshot Andrew Ashcraft, gave a beautiful talk about her family’s gratitude journey after Andrew’s death.

Join Us at 4:30 (EST) on December 4, 2020 Online for the 2020 Fire Hero Family Tree Lighting

2020 Fire Hero Family Tree Lighting

Send an Ornament for the 2020 Fire Hero Family Tree

Remembering Your Firefighter This Holiday

We encourage you to send ornaments, in memory of your loved ones for the Fire Hero Family Trees. These ornaments will be displayed during the holiday season in the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial Chapel — this year and every year.
Please send your ornaments to:
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
c/o Fire Hero Family Tree Program
PO Drawer 498, Emmitsburg, MD 21727

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe or want to share your firefighter’s favorite cookie recipe? Share it with us!

We will be getting together virtually at 3:00 pm (ET) on December 5, 2020, to swap a few baking secrets, share traditions, and make delicious cookies at our first Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange.

» Register by November 20, 2020 «

Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange
Upcoming Virtual Support Groups

Virtual Facilitated Support Groups

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Virtual Peer Support Groups

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Families Staying Connected

ICYMI: NFFF Family Programs Is on Twitter

Just because we’ve gone virtual for the time being doesn’t mean we’ve slowed down! In fact, we are pleased to announce that you can now follow the NFFF Family Programs on Twitter.

ICYMI: Fire Hero Kids Are on Instagram

The Foundation has created a private Instagram account for children and step-children of honored firefighter parents. Here we will post updates about camps, peer support, scholarships and more!

You Can Also Stay Connected With Us On Facebook and By E-mail

Fire Service Programs News

Training Resources

Go Down Swinging - The Nathan Espinosa Story Worksheet

Making the Nathan Espinosa Story

Early in 2018, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation became aware of a significant near miss event in Los Angeles, California. A rookie firefighter fell through the roof during operations at his first working fire. Within days, the Los Angeles fire chief took action to ensure the firefighter was cared for, activated a critical injury investigation, and developed a plan to prevent future occurrences.

Chief Terrazas Reviews the Incident and Steps His Department Took to Prevent a Future Tragedy

This article tells us how one fire chief and a major metropolitan department recognized a threat and responded by taking bold corrective action before the threat became a tragedy. The story is a model of courageous leadership.


Memorial Monday

Memorial Monday – Sitka Brush Fire/Explosion

Army firefighters were fighting a brush fire on Japanski Island in Sitka, Alaska. The fire enveloped a warehouse containing 21 tons of dynamite. The explosion killed five firefighters staffing the base fire engine.

Incident Commander-to-Incident Commander Webinar Series

In the Incident Commander Webinar Series National LAST Coordinator Ian Bennett and special guests discuss the incidents, their aftermath, the impact it had, and offer insight into what happens when an incident commander suffers a line-of-duty death on their watch.

IC to IC Network


After the Fire Podcast Relaunched

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and, LLC, have collaborated to bring you After the Fire: A Firefighter Line-of-Duty Death Podcast. Our goal is to reduce the number of firefighter fatalities by learning from the unintended outcomes of fireground line-of-duty deaths.

Series Re-launched to Bring You Even More Content and a Behind the Scenes Look at the Episodes

Episode 1: The Strand Theatre Fire – Brockton, MA

March 10, 1941

In this episode, Chief John Tippett of the NFFF, author & historian Nicole Casper, retired Brockton Fire Department Captain Joseph Lacouture, and retired Brockton Fire Department Fire Chief Kenneth Galligan discuss the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, the 1941 Strand Theatre fire’s 13 line-of-duty deaths and lessons learned.


2020 Fire Service Health & Safety Report

Promoting a Better Safety Climate for the Fire Service During Global Pandemic, Civil Unrest, and Wildland Fires

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the First Responder Center for Excellence (FRCE), once again, collaborated with Firehouse® and published the 2020 Fire Service Health & Safety Report. The 32 page report, which appears in September’s issue of Firehouse®, includes 13 articles written by respected leaders, authors and experts, covering a diversity of topics, including women in the fire service, the power of podcasts in promoting safety and health and changing the very culture of safety among the nation’s fire departments.


Peer Support Programs for the Fire Service

Training Brings Awareness of the Benefits of Peer Support Programs

Our latest online training course, Peer Support Programs for the Fire Service, discusses the important role that a peer support program can play in keeping firefighters and their departments healthy.

Fire Hero Learning Network

First Responder Center for Excellence News

In any given year, more than 100 firefighters & EMT’s die by suicide.


Watch Highlights from the the Inaugural Symposium

FRCE Sets New Date for National Fire Service Behavioral Health Symposium

Out of concern for the health and safety of all involved, the First Responder Center for Excellence has postponed the Symposium, originally scheduled for October 2020. The conference will focus on the theme of “Boundaries, Resilience, and Post-traumatic Growth.”

Fire Service Behavioral Health Symposium

» Register Now – Discounted Registration Ends May 1, 2021 «

Ways to Help

Be a Part of the NFFF Giving Circle

Karl Ristow

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Donor Profile – Karl Ristow

Read what brought Karl Ristow’s attention to the NFFF and why its mission is important to him. Learn how you can join Karl in the NFFF Giving Circle.

Honor a Hero

Honor a Hero on the Walk of Honor®

This October, we pay tribute to the 103 firefighters who died in the line of duty while serving their communities as part of America’s Tribute to Fallen Firefighters. These men and women will be honored in Emmitsburg, Maryland at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in October 2021. You can join us in honoring a hero on our Walk of Honor® in National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park by placing a brick in their memory.


Share a Glass in Tribute

For this release of Tribute Red Blend, we embodied a wine that supports the traditional blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Alicante Bouschet. When you pour a glass, NV Tribute Red Blend showcases a beautiful dark rich color and hints of blueberry pie and maple on the nose.

NV Tribute Red Blend


National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ornament

Remember Heroes This Holiday with a National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ornament

This National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ornament keepsake is a great way to remember fallen firefighters with your family this holiday season. Your purchase supports the programs of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation which honors America’s fallen firefighters, assists their families, and works to prevent firefighter deaths and injuries.

» Reserve Your Ornament Today! «


A New Way to Support NFFF Daily! The Thin Red Line Debit Card

Langley Federal Credit Union is excited to announce the Thin Red Line Checking account and Debit Card! This card empowers you to show off your Thin Red Line pride while also supporting the NFFF.

Debit Card

Join Climbers Nationwide - National Stair Climb

Reflection and Respect Nationwide

Starting on September 11, 2020 through the end of the year, join climbers nationwide in honoring our 9/11 heroes. In 2020, virtual climbers will bring this national remembrance to their communities, personalizing their journey to “Never Forget.”

Personalize Your Climb to Never Forget

An expanded 9/11 Stair Climb program includes virtual events and toolkit, making this annual remembrance globally accessible

Each year, firefighters and communities gather at 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb events across the U.S. to remember the brave men and women that died on September 11, 2001. This annual tradition will continue in 2020, with many of our local climbs expanding to include virtual options or adapting to an all-virtual format to adhere to varying social distancing and travel guidelines.


Make Your 2020 Combined Federal Campaign Donation Using #10292

Federal, military, and postal service employees can donate to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation through Combined Federal Campaign contributions. The Foundation’s agency number is 10292. State and local government employees can write in the Foundation as their agency of choice.

We appreciate your continued support to honor and remember America’s fallen fire heroes and their families.

Upcoming Events

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Virtual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climbs

Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange

Pass it On 3: Making Good Progress