National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend highlights sacrifice, dangers of the job

Local News

This weekend was a time to remember some of our nation’s heroes.

The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service held Sunday in Maryland. The service paying tribute to the lives of firefighters who died in the line of duty.
    
The American flag in front of Rural Metro’s station 30 flying at half staff. It’s a visible reminder to remember and honor our nation’s fallen firefighters. 

“What it means for us in Tennessee, locally, is that it gives us just a time and a reason to pause and to think about the sacrifices that these people made,” said Rural Metro Fire PIO Jeff Bagwell. 

Rural Metro is keeping these fallen firefighters close to their hearts, but fortunately for them, it’s a pain they’ve never had to feel personally – never losing a Knox County firefighter in the line of duty. 

The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial weekend – also a time to reflect on the realities of the job. 

“From one minute to the next, one call to the next, we don’t know whether this is going to be the last call we go on,” Bagwell said.

Firefighting is inherently dangerous, Bagwell said, but what’s sometimes forgotten is that these men and women also respond to much more than fires. 

“Eighty percent of any fire department’s calls for emergencies are non-fire related. They’re medical calls, they are domestic violence, they are shooting, stabbings, things like this that the fire department is the first one (on the scene) in a lot of cases,” said Bagwell. 

Often, firefighters encounter many of the same dangers that police officers face.

This Memorial Weekend is one of significance.

“It’s not just any other weekend in the year. It’s a weekend that causes everybody to bring awareness to what we do,” Bagwell said. “Just pray for our firefighters. They need it. They all need it.” 

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation already announced the dates for next year’s Memorial Weekend. It’s currently set for October 5 and 6 of 2019.
 

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