Dignity Memorial, a network of funeral homes and cemeteries across the United States, recently met with a number of the North Carolina fire and rescue associations to offer a ”Public Servants Program”.
The Dignity Memorial network wants to recognize “the courage and selfless service of those who keep our communities safe.” The program provides a dignified and honorable tribute, at no cost, for career and volunteer firefighters who die in the line of duty.
Death is not a subject we want to spend a lot of time discussing, but it is a reality of life. While we plan for a number of things, funeral planning is an oxymoron. The family of a line of duty death, or any sudden loss of a loved one, is under extreme pressure to make a decision that they are not emotionally prepared to do, but the circumstances require that decisions be made quickly. The “Public Servants Program” offered by Dignity Memorial relieves the financial stress on the family of those who are killed in the line of duty.
Your local funeral home may or may not be a member of the Dignity Memorial network . If there is not a provider close to your home, Dignity Memorial will still serve your family at your local church or fire house to allow the firefighter’s family to benefit from the program. Dignity Memorial has the capability to provide the no cost service throughout the United States.
This “no cost” program offered to fire and rescue workers killed in the line of duty is not an attempt to circumvent your local funeral home. Selecting a funeral provider is a very, very personal decision that all of our families must make. This is an effort by Dignity Memorial, through its network of funeral providers, to recognize the service of our firefighters to our State. Traditionally, we use local funeral homes that have served our families for years. Our Association has been assured that the professionals at Dignity Memorial will work closely with local fire officials and local funeral homes that are willing to work with a Dignity Memorial affiliate to provide this “no cost” service for firefighters who are killed in the line of duty.
In addition to the “no cost” service for firefighters killed in the line of duty, Dignity Memorial offers members of our Association:
- 10% savings on all funeral or cremation products and services
- 10% savings on internment rights
- $2,500 Child/Grandchild Protection Certificate that can be used in the unfortunate death of an unmarried child or grandchild under the age of 21
- The Personal Planning Guide allows you to document vital information about you and your loved one’s wishes, as well as record estate and financial information that will be useful for surviving family members and heirs.
- The Dignity Memorial Bereavement Travel Program provides for assistance with travel arrangements to the site of the funeral as well as hotel and care rental arrangements. One call to the service handles it all, where dedicated agents find open flights, clear waiting lists, and waive advance booking requirements, in many cases at significant saving to our families.
- One year of unlimited access to Dignity Memorial’s 24-Hour Compassion helpline, a telephone grief support program staffed with trained counselors that will provide our family with grief counseling and helpful insight.
Our families support our commitment to the profession we have chosen. We can honor their commitment to our service by relieving them of the financial burden and the decisions that must be made under extreme emotional situations.
The Association will be offering informational sessions and additional updates at association meetings and conferences throughout the next year. To learn more about Dignity Memorial go to www.ncpublicservants.com .
Frequently Asked Questions about the service provided by the Dignity Program for Line of Duty or Natural Death of an Association Member
How will the remains of my family member be prepared for a traditional viewing or cremation?
- The deceased family member will be transported to the nearest Dignity Memorial affiliate for preparation for services, traditional or cremation.
Are my options for the location of the service limited to a Dignity Memorial affiliate?
- No. Dignity Memorial will work with any church, fire station or local facility that is equipped to conduct a service.
Can the service be held at a local funeral home chapel if the local funeral home is not a member of the Dignity Memorial network?
- If the local funeral home will permit the service to be held at its location, the Dignify Memorial affiliate will work with them to insure the needs of the family are met.
If the nearest Dignity Memorial affiliate is a great distance from my community, will my family have to travel to the site of the nearest Dignity Memorial affiliate to select the items needed for the service (casket, vault, urn)?
- No. The Dignity Memorial provider may suggest a place for the family to meet or the Dignity Memorial provider will come to your home to make arrangements.
Why is Prearrangement so important?
- Prearrangement reduces the stress on the family during a time when decisions have to be made quickly. Completing the prearrangement book offered by Dignity Memorial or other funeral providers answers all these questions prior to the event and relieves the family from having to make these decisions.
Do I have to use a Dignity Memorial provider?
- No. The preparation and services to honor our loved ones is a personal decision. This is a benefit offered by Dignity Memorial and their affiliates to honor our service and the sacrifices our families make that allow us to serve our communities. The program offers a “no cost” service to those killed in the line of duty and reduced cost to our family members along with other services that they may need during the first year after a death.