Few people deserve to be celebrated more than the heroic men and women who risk their lives every day to keep us safe – we’re talking about firefighters! It’s important that we show our appreciation for their service and sacrifice, not just on September 11th, but all year long. Here are just some of the ways HAIX® is supporting firefighters throughout the year.
HAIX® is a proud sponsor of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Hockey team. Each year a charity match is played at Madison Square Garden against the New York Police Department (NYPD) to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. The game also raises funds to support those who lost their lives to illness as a result of the rescue and recovery efforts during the 9/11 World Trade Center Attacks.
9/11 Memorial in Southport, NC
HAIX® was also present for a touching ceremony on September 11th at the Southport Fire Department, (NC) where hundreds of firefighters who lost their lives on that fateful day back in 2001 were honored. 343 pairs of HAIX® boots were on display outside the fire department headquarters in remembrance of the who made the ultimate sacrifice during the attacks 18 years ago. Southport Fire Chiefs Todd Coring and Charles Drew also participated in wreath laying and a solemn moment of remembrance. “It’s something that we don’t forget,” Drew said. “That day, the leveling ground was even. There was no Republican. There was no Democrat. There was no white or black.” Because there’s such camaraderie in the first responder family, He says it’s important to also remember those first responders who have died since the 9/11 attacks.
Light the Night
In 2017, The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation created Light the Night as the start for the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Week. As dusk turned to dark on September 29th, landmarks and fire service organizations across the country, including the Freedom Tower in New York City, the Willis Tower in Chicago, and the HAIX® North American Headquarters in Lexington, KY, were lit up red to honor fallen firefighters and their families. These buildings remained a glow for an entire week to honor America’s fallen bravest.
National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend
During the 38th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, firefighters were honored during an event at National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. 119 in all - 92 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2018 and 27 firefighters from previous years. Every October, the Foundation sponsors the official national tribute to fallen firefighters. Their mission is to honor and remember America’s fallen fire heroes and to provide emotional and financial resources to assist their families in rebuilding their lives. The Foundation is also working on expanding the national memorial site 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.
Memorial Stair Climb
9/11 Memorial Stair Climbs are another way for firefighters and the community to honor and remember FDNY firefighters who selflessly gave their lives so that others might live. Each participant pays tribute to a fallen firefighter by climbing or walking, often in full firefighter gear, the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center, while carrying the names of those who were killed during on that tragic day. These events are held throughout the year in cities across the U.S., including at tradeshows like FDIC International and Firehouse Expo.
Fire Prevention Week
There are also small but important actions you can take to keep yourself and those around you safe by preventing and in turn decreasing the number of firefighter deaths. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced the 2019 theme for Fire Prevention Week is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” During a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time so everyone has enough time to get out safely. A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home. Families should also make sure fire alarms are tested and batteries are changed regularly. Home escape plans should be practiced twice a year by all members of the household.
As you can see, there are many events that honor and celebrate firefighters each year and we encourage you to take part in local ceremonies in your area to show your support!