SANDOWN — Once again, members of the Sandown Fire Rescue Department will be traveling to Emmetsburg, Md., to attend the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.
On Jan. 16, 2011, Firefighter/Paramedic Harold Frey died in the line of duty at an ice rescue training exercise. Members of the department traveled to Emmetsburg in 2012 to honor Frey during the NFFF candlelight vigil and memorial ceremony.
Each year the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation holds a weekend long event that includes a candlelight vigil, and unveiling of the memorial wall which bears the names of the previous year’s fallen firefighters. There are activities and survivor support sessions for the families, and department survivors of the fallen firefighters. The weekend culminates with a memorial ceremony in which each survivor is presented with an honorary NFFF badge, rose, and several other items of remembrance.
Sandown Fire Rescue members in attendance last year were so moved by the event and support the department received that they vowed to return every year to support other fire service survivors who will attend to honor their own.
Members will be returning to The National Fire Academy the weekend of Oct. 4-6, and will act as honor guard members during the “Sea of Blue” during the National Memorial Service. The “Sea of Blue” consists of close to 1,000 uniformed members standing at attention during the service. The “Sea of Blue” shows the surviving family, and department members of the previous year, the support they have now and forever from the fire service in general.
This year, Sandown Fire Rescue will also have the solemn honor to attend to support their brothers and sisters in Hopkinton as they make their first trip to Emmetsburg and honor Chief Rick Schaefer who died in the line of duty on Sept. 2, 1012.
Attending this year will be fire Chief Bill Tapley, Deputy Chief Mike Devine, Capt. Jon Goldman, FF/EMT Dyllan Tapley, and FF/EMT Kevin Major, along with his son Ethan, who has just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.