The United States Senate has passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Susan Collins, co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, to honor America’s fallen firefighters. The Fallen Firefighter Resolution mandates that all United States flags at all Federal facilities be lowered to half-staff on the day of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
“I am deeply pleased to see this resolution pass the Senate,” said Senator Collins. “All Americans know of the selfless sacrifices America’s firefighters make every day to ensure our safety. As others flee disasters, the brave men and women of the fire service rush in. I believe that by passing this resolution, the Senate honored the spirit of America’s bravest firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.”
At present over 1.1 million men and women comprise the fire service in the United States, answering over 22.5 million emergency calls each year. They respond not only to fires, but hazardous material spills, natural disasters, transportation accidents, and acts of terrorism. Each year, approximately 100 firefighters fall in the line of service. In 2006, 106 firefighters lost their lives in the line of duty.
In 1981, the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial was built on the campus of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Each October since 1982, the National Firefighter Memorial Service is held at the Memorial. This year’s service will be held on Sunday, October, 7th.
Senator Collins’ resolution was cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 25 other senators.