Fire Prevention Week begins Sunday, which is also the day of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service at the Memorial outside Washington, DC, in Maryland.
President George W Bush in 2001 signed legislation requiring the American flag to fly at half-staff on all federal buildings to memorialize fallen firefighters.
President Biden and the nation’s governor’s have expanded it this year to run from sunrise today until sunset on Sunday.
The weekend observance includes a candlelight vigil service tomorrow night, also at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, followed by the Memorial Service on Sunday.
That’s when 2 Nebraskans will be among the 148 names added to the memorial for losing their lives in the line of duty in 2021 Dennis Bender and Bob Kneif, both with the Ponca Hills VFD.
Four Nebraska firefighters have made the ultimate sacrifice so far this year and will be added to the memorial next October.
They are.Lincoln Fire Inspector Donald Gross, who died Jan 4, Elwood VFD Chief Darren Krull April 7, retired Cambridge Chief John “JP” Trumble April 22, and Purdum VFD Assistant Chief Mike Moody, who died this past Sunday on the Bovee Fire.
Nebraska has 478 fire departments with over 17,000 firefighters – all but about 2,000 who serve as unpaid volunteers.
Sunday also marks the start of the 100th Fire Prevention Week, and the Chadron Volunteer Fire Department is continuing its tradition of an Open House and Spaghetti Feed Free Will Donation Fundraiser to begin the week.
It runs from 10:00-2:00 at the fire station with everyone invited to come and enjoy a plate of spaghetti, explore the various fire trucks and other apparatus, and visit with members of the fire department and its first responder partners.