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News Archive

5/15/2006 Memorial Service Invocation Text
Invocation For May 6, 2006, Memorial Service

Creator and everlasting giver of Hope and care,
You have dwelt with humankind through all generations,
We know a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past,
Our days are short and we fly away.

We, however, struggle with the losses in our life and we don’t
know how to cope with the loses of our yesterdays.
We feel vividly today our limitations of how to cope from the
loss of our loved ones,
And need your help in our struggle for the renewal of our lives.

Now we ask to have you near us and for us to feel your presence within us.

From this day forward teach us to number our days so we can apply our lives to wisdom.
Some of us come today struggling to find peace and hope in our lives,
Others of us come to be of comfort to those who hurt from the pain their loss,

Help us to all feel your everlasting peace.


5/15/2006 Reflecting on Grief and Loss
Reflecting on Grief and Loss

Binding up the bruised and brokenhearted is a precious ministry and we want you to join with us in this ministry mission as a Foundation. All of us here today are needed as a part of this Foundation Family in our work to arrive on the scene when called and to help “bind up the brokenhearted.”

Perhaps you have come today to this sacred place hoping you could find solace in your grief and heartbreak, to find healing and relief from the loss of your loved one. I hope in sharing together these moments at this peaceful place you are finding a sense of “family” and “rest” in your journey toward recovery.

Together we all are here to form a circle of love as a fire family to support you. We are both people needing mending & care and people wanting to help others heal.

We ask only that you consider opening your heart to this “Foundation family” as you make your journey back to a full life.

I encourage you, your personal family and your fire department’s family to embrace a hope filled life as you move from the losses in life to return to a life of joy and peace, from hopeless feelings to life filled with opportunities to give to others. I encourage you to let this day symbolize a determination to begin a new life for you and for others in our “Foundation Family”. This “Mission of Hope” is the mission of the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation. As a “family” we all stand with you ready to help whenever you need help. You are not alone!

It is easy and natural while going through loss and grief for a person to feel that once they are “broken” they become worthless to others, but from these “broken pieces” in our lives comes strength to help others. This can happen when we are able to move-on beyond our own grief from loss. Our times of being bruised and broken can be transformed into lifting others to find renewed life after death and tragedy which has occurred in their lives.

Psychologists identify Five Stages of Grief as we cope with losses in life. These periods of grieving are necessary to process and cope with death and serious injury if we are to return to a productive life after a tragedy.

1. The person’s Denial of what has happened
2. Followed by feelings of Anger.
3. Regret and blaming self for what has happened

Only as the person is able to move beyond this damaging stage of blaming is it possible for he or she to be able to begin to find closure and move-on to the next stage.

4. Acceptance of what has happened.
5. Finally a time of Reframing and Reforming their life.

At this point the person will begin to “feel” a sense of hope for their future. Friends and family need to support and help the person by allowing the person to make changes to their lives so they can enjoy life once again.

You can find assurance in knowing that most people are able to cope with loss and tragedy on their own unless tragedies come too frequently before healing from other losses can have time to come to closure for a previous loss.

Let this Memorial Site always remind you of our Fallen Firefighter’s Family Mission to help whenever death and loss come into our lives. Call on us anytime you need us . . . you are not alone, there are many of us in your “fire family” and we all want to help.

Let me close with the reading of a hymn written by George Matheson.

“Oh Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go”

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s glow its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow thro’ the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to hide from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.


5/15/2006 Memorial Service Benediction Text
May 6, 2006, Memorial Service Benediction

And now may the Peace of God abide with you, The Light of Hope shine upon your path as you walk forward into your tomorrows, May the arms of love be ever with you to guide and protect your way, all the while knowing you are not alone.


5/11/2006 The Final Alarm
The Final Alarm

Throughout most of history, the life of a firefighter

has been closely associated with the ringing of a bell.

As he or she began their tour of duty, it was the bell

that started and ended the day. Through the day and

night, each alarm was sounded by the ringing of a

bell, which called them to fight fire and to place their

lives in jeopardy for the good of their fellow citizens.

And when the fire was out and the alarm had come to

an end, the bell rang five times to signal the end.

And now that our brother or sister has completed

their task, their duties well done, the bell rings five

times in memory and tribute too, their life and


5/11/2006 Dedicatory Prayer from May 6, 2006
Dedicatory Prayer
Fallen Firefighters Memorial Dedication
May 6, 2006
Prayer Offered by the Rev. J. George Reed
Executive Director, North Carolina Council of Churches

Loving and gracious God, God of all peoples, we come to you through many churches and many faiths, and we address you by different names. But we all know that you lift up the sacrifice spoken of by Jesus when he said, “Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for a friend.”

We come today with hearts filled with gratitude—for those who have envisioned this memorial and all who have labored to bring it into being, for those who have given the funds and materials to make it possible, for the sculptor who has transformed concept into reality, for the workers who have built and landscaped this beautiful place. But most of all we are grateful for the men and women memorialized here, firefighters who for more than a century have been laying down their lives for those they did not even know. And while we honor them collectively, many of the people gathered here today remember them as individuals—a spouse, a parent, a child, a grandchild, a sibling, a neighbor, a fellow firefighter—each with an individual story of dedication and sacrifice.

Today we dedicate this memorial to their sacrifice. May it be a place to remember those who have fallen, always, even many generations after their passing. May it also serve as a tangible expression to the families, friends, and colleagues of these who have fallen, an expression of the deep debt of gratitude we owe them. May it be a source of strength and encouragement for all those who still grieve over their loss. And may it challenge all of us to live more sacrificially.

We pray, loving and gracious God, that you would take this monument, stone and metal, beautifully crafted, and breathe into it the breath of memory, keeping us ever mindful of the people, the men and women, persons of flesh and blood, whose dedicated lives and sacrificial deaths this memorial commemorates.

And now let all the people join together to say AMEN.

5/9/2006 Kathy Guyer-Martin’s Comments
Below are the remarks of Kathy Guyer-Martin from the memorial day events.

Thank you very much.

Good evening and welcome to the very first North Carolina Fallen Firefighters celebration. What a wonderful time for North Carolina and for the Fire Service Family. The North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation has worked very hard to make this long awaited day become a reality and a dream come true for many of “survivors” who have lost a loved one. I hope that the activities of tonight and tomorrow will be a wonderful and memorable experience. I am sure that this time of celebration and remembrance will bring back many fond memories of the days with our loved ones, and also bring some painful ones as well. Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

It seems like only yesterday that my girls and I were sitting together on the National Fire Academy grounds in Emmitsburg, Maryland as we honored our very fallen hero in the National Memorial service. It is a very special privilege and an honor for me to be here today with you as we dedicate our North Carolina Memorial and honor our own fallen firefighters in our home state. I have been waiting for this week-end to come to pass for a long time and am very proud to be a part of the celebration.

As a Fire Service Survivor, I can relate to many of the feelings of pain and loss that each of you may have experienced when you lost your loved one. I won’t say that I know exactly how you feel, because even though we have walked similar paths, everyone walks it differently. The one thing I have learned through the grieving and healing process is that each of us is different and deals with loss in our own way and in our own time.

The common bond that brings us all together is the fact that we are “Survivors”. We are part of a group which grows each year as Firefighters loose their lives in the line of duty. In 2005, the Fire Service and the Nation honored approximately 110 fallen Firefighters at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

My husband, Mike Guyer, was the Assistant Chief of the Stokes-Rockingham Volunteer Fire Dept. & Rescue Squad in Stokes County. Mike died on October 4th, 1996. I am still dealing with his loss after almost 10 years. There are days when it seems like only yesterday that he was here with us. Mike was the first Firefighter in Stokes County to lose his life in the line of duty.

When Mike died, I was faced with the awesome responsibility of raising two young daughters by myself. I had never dreamed of being a single parent, nor was it something that I would have ever chosen for my life. It was such a big struggle for us all. I did not realize that young children grieve, just as adults do, but learned very quickly that their feelings are very real and must be acknowledged and dealt with. I learned to reach out to others to help us though the darkest days and leaned on my faith in God to bring us safely thru the storms.

Now, almost 10 years later, I look back on those dark days and wonder sometimes how we made it through. I am sure that you may have had days when it just didn’t seem worth the trouble to get out of bed in the morning. There were many days that I would not have done so if it weren’t for my girls. But, God is good and loving and has a plan for us all.

There are few words to express how deeply the loss of a member of the fire service family is felt. Many people (including Firefighters), have no idea how to express their feelings to the family, (or even to each other), when it comes to a fallen brother or sister. The wonderful thing about human beings is that they have the capacity to show their love & support in many other ways. It may be as simple as a “bear hug” from a friend, someone stopping by to say hello, cut your grass, or to fix something around the house. I have learned that Firefighters have great big hearts, are willing to help in any way and are great “fixers of things”. During the long months when Mike was in the hospital and after he died, I had the best looking yard in Stokes County for a solid year!

I have learned many things about myself, and about life and have grown spiritually during these past years, but, most especially have learned that the love and support of those who care is invaluable.

Today is a great example of how we can “take care of each other”. The wonderful dinner tonight and tomorrow’s parade and memorial service are the Fire Service family’s way of simply saying THANK YOU & WE HONOR YOU to the fallen heroes.

To the families, it is our time to celebrate the lives of our Firefighters and to remember our very own heroes. They are gone, but will never be forgotten. They will forever be remembered thru the North Carolina Memorial and thru the continued programs of the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

As you continue your journey towards tomorrow , please remember that there are many Fire Service “survivors” who have walked the road that we are on and who are there to help in any way. There are also members of the Fire Service family who would like nothing better than to reach out and lend a helping hand as well. The phrase “Taking care of our own” is a very powerful statement about the Fire Service Family and was coined by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. How very blessed we are to be a part of such a caring circle of friends and family.

Thank you for being here as we celebrate this special time of remembrance.

5/8/2006 Memorial Dedicated
This past Saturday, May 6th 2006, the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation dedicated the Memorial Site. Pictures will be posted in the coming days, please check back.
5/1/2006 North Carolina Fallen Fire Fighters Fund to Benefit From Paintball Tournament
North Myrtle Beach, S.C. — A paintball tournament set for May 13 will benefit The North Carolina Fallen Fire Fighters Fund.

All firefighters and EMS personnel are invited to attend this fun-filled day. The top teams compete for cash prizes of $1000 and more.

For more details and registration, please call Christine Kaeding at 910-200-3901. For all equipment needs call Ellis Ray at 843-997-5322.

4/19/2006 North Carolina Volunteer Dies at Event
A volunteer firefighter in North Carolina collapsed and died at a standby Sunday in his hometown.

Willie Price, 58, a member of the Jamesville Community Fire Department, suffered an apparent heart attack while standing beside the pumper he had driven to the annual fireworks event, said Chief Randy Gardner.

An ambulance crew, also at the fireworks show, ran to his side immediately and initiated CPR. Gardner participated in the resuscitative effort.

Price was transported to Martin General Hospital in Williamston where he was pronounced dead.

A volunteer for 27 years, Price was very active in the company. “If there was a call or a meeting, he was there,” the chief said. “He had some heart problems, and was slowly getting back into things…We always have fireworks at Easter, and he took the truck.”

Price, the father of a 16-year-old son, is the first member of his department to die in the line of duty.

A wake will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Biggs Funeral Home in Williamston, N.C. where funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Departments wishing more information can call the Jamesville fire station at 252-792-4345.

Firehouse.com News

3/21/2006 Funeral Services For Kelly Kincaid
Lt. Kelly Kincaid, 41, of Morganton, NC died in the line of duty on Sunday, March 19, 2006. He was born in Burke County, NC on February 19, 1965 and was the son of Linda Dale Kincaid of Morganton and the late H. Mickey Kincaid, Jr. Kelly was a Lieutenant with the Burke County Sheriff Dept., a reserve fire fighter with Morganton Dept. of Public Safety, and a reserve police officer with Broughton Hospital. He was a former co-owner of The Boat House and an avid fisherman and hunter. He served on the Board of Directors of Mimosa Boat Landing. He was a member of Mull’s Grove Baptist Church. Kelly was a loving husband, son, brother, uncle, son-in-law, and a devoted public servant.

Surviving in addition to his mother are his wife of 8 years, Tanya Michelle Fox Kincaid, of the home; his sister, Shannon Kota and her husband, Andrew, of Morganton; maternal grandparents, Marvin J. and Virgie Dale of Hickory; his nephew, Jake Kota; and his father and mother-in-law, Ronnie and Dottie Fox; aunts, Martha Craft, Connie Reese, and Judy Young; brothers and sisters-in-law, Bryan Long, David Rice, Randy Fox, Tami Rice, Teri Fox, Tina Long; nieces, Kasie Fox, Ketti Frogge, Kristen Frogge, Kara Frogge; and nephews, Jake Frogge, Korey Rice, Cody Rice, Jared Rice, Storm Long, and Stone Long.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, 2006, at First Baptist Church with Rev. Allan Barlow, Rev. David Bean, and Rev. Dr. Thomas Bland officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery. Lt. Kelly Kincaid’s body will lie in state at First Baptist Church from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lt. Kelly Kincaid Scholarship Fund, c/o Burke County Sheriff’s Dept., 150 Government Dr., Morganton, NC 28655.

Submit a Condolence Online through Funereal Home

3/20/2006 Morganton firefighter Kelly Kincaid died Sunday
MORGANTON – Morganton firefighter and Sheriff’s Deputy Kelly Kincaid died Sunday night at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, surrounded by his family, friends, and co-workers.

“He cannot be replaced,” said Burke County Sheriff John T. McDevitt. “Another will step into his job one day, but no one will fill his shoes.”

Kincaid died at 10:35 PM, McDevitt said.

The 19-year law enforcement veteran and volunteer firefighter collapsed around 11:54 PM Friday night while attempting to fight a fire determined to be caused by arson.

“He was lifeless for over twenty minutes before a pulse was finally detected,” stated the Sheriff. “We were told by doctors that he sustained irreversible brain damage after being deprived of oxygen for so long.”

Kincaid never regained consciousness after sustaining an apparent heart attack. He was removed from life support at CMC at 2:30 PM Sunday, according to the Sheriff.

“He died peacefully,” said McDevitt “in a room filled with the people that meant the most to him in life.”

The officer’s body will remain in Charlotte pending an autopsy, and will probably be brought back to Burke County on Monday afternoon, McDevitt said. A convoy of officers and firefighters will escort the fallen firefighter back to Burke County.

The arrangements are pending.


3/7/2006 Firefighter Collapses, Dies After Fighting Brush Fire
HAYWOOD COUNTY – A volunteer firefighter in Waynesville collapsed at his home Sunday evening shortly after returning from a brush fire.

Lt. Wayne E. Yarborough, 59, had assisted the Waynesville Fire Department with a minor brush fire about an hour before he collapsed after an apparent heart attack, said Archie Shuler, an investigator with the fire company.

“He was involved with extinguishing the fire and helped package hose,” Shuler said. “He was getting ready for church when he collapsed.”

The volunteer lieutenant, who had been involved in the town’s fire service for 38 years, would have celebrated his 60th birthday on Tuesday.

“He was a great guy. You couldn’t ask for anyone better…We’re all in shock. You just never expect something like this.”

Yarborough is survived by his wife and two children.


Update: The funeral service for Lt. Wayne Yarborough is to be held at the First United Methodist Church in Waynesville, NC at 1:00pm on Saturday March 11, 2006.

Pastor Wayne (Butch) Yarborough
Born in Haywood County, NC on Mar. 7, 1947
Departed on Mar. 5, 2006 and resided in Waynesville, NC.
Visitation: Friday Mar. 10, 2006
Service: Saturday Mar. 11, 2006
Cemetery: Green Hill Cemetery

Waynesville—Pastor Wayne “Butch” Yarborough, age 59, went to be with the Lord on March 5, 2006, two days before his 60th birthday, while serving in the line of duty with the Waynesville Fire Department.

He was a native and life long resident of Haywood County. He was an avid deer hunter and fisherman. He loved the outdoors and spending time planting and babying his garden with his brother and best friend, John. He also loved spending time with his family, especially his beloved granddaughter, Stephanie, and teaching her things that he loved doing as a child, especially teaching her about a relationship with God. He also loved collecting antiques and guns.

Butch was a 38-year veteran of the Waynesville Fire Department and spent a large portion of those years as Lieutenant and chaplain and almost lost his life on April 22, 1982 in the Benfield plant fire. He was a Class 4 linesman, assistant supervisor, and interim supervisor of the electric department for the town of Waynesville. He was looking forward to retiring this year after 25 years of service.

Butch was the pastor of the Narrow Road Free Methodist Church for the past four years, which was formally known as the Waynesville Free Methodist Church. He attended there for 55 years and served as Sunday-school teacher and Sunday-school superintendent. Butch was a US Army veteran. He began his basic training at Fort Jackson, SC and transferred to Fort Sill, OK for advanced training before he was transferred to Munich Germany for 18 months and was discharged honorably as a Private First-Class.

Butch is survived by his parents, Robert and Laura Bell Parris Yarborough of Waynesville; his wife of 37 years, Patsy Kathleen Nelon Yarborough; a daughter, Beverly Fisher, of Waynesville; one son, Dwayne Yarborough, of the home; granddaughter, Stephanie Fisher; two brothers, Willard Yarborough, and wife, Elaine, of Kings Mountain, John Yarborough and wife, Effie, of Waynesville; a sister, Nancy Yarborough of Waynesville; a number of nieces, nephews, and cousins; many friends and hunting buddies; and a little special friend, Princess.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, 2006 at First Methodist Church of Waynesville with Reverend Charles Magnet, Reverend Daryl Hannah and Reverend Anthony Green officiating. His body will be transported on Engine No. 1502 to Green Hill Cemetery where he will be laid to rest. He will receive a full honorary fireman’s service by the Honor Guard of Asheville and military graveside rights conducted by the Buncombe County Veterans Council Memorial Team. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m. on Friday, March 10 at Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville, and at other times, the family will be at the residence. Serving as pallbearers will be the firemen of the Waynesville Fire Department. Honorary pallbearers will be his fellow firemen and coworkers of the Town of Waynesville Electric Department.

Memorials may be made to the Stephanie Fisher Education Fund, c/o United Community Bank, 165 N. Main Street, Waynesville, NC 28786.


2/5/2006 Honor Guards for Memorial Dedication
All Honor Guard Units that wish to be a part of the May 6, 2006 Memorial Dedication should contact Keith Powell. Keith can be contacted using the information below.

910-592-4240 home
910-214-5749 cell

2/2/2006 Helmet and Memorial Added
The helmet and plaque now have been attached at the site.
2/2/2006 PRESS RELEASE – Memorial Opened to Public
The North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial “Honor & Sacrifice” on February 3, 2006. Located in Nash Square at 200 South McDowell Street in Raleigh, the memorial honors all North Carolina Fallen Firefighters who have died in the line of duty.

The opening of the memorial is a culmination of seven years of dedicated service by many volunteers and supporters from across the State of North Carolina. Funding for construction of the memorial has been provided through fire department, public, private, corporate sponsorships, monetary donations, service contributions and a grant from Wake County.

The Dedication and Memorial service honoring North Carolina’s fallen heroes is scheduled for May 6, 2006. Please visit our website at www.ncfff.org or contact Edward P. Brinson, President, NCFFF at 919-605-0115 for further details.

1/30/2006 Construction Update 1-30-2006
The memorial site is coming together and the list of what is left continues to get smaller. All items will be complete prior to the May 6, 2006 dedication date. Below is a list of most of the items left.

  • The expansion joints are being filled along the edges.
  • A couple of small concrete pours to reduce trip hazards due to un level sections where it meets the old sections.
  • The helmet of the fallen firefighter should be placed in the next day or two.
  • The landscaping needs to be finalized by spreading out dirt around the edges, planting some flowers, etc.
  • The construction fence will be should removed February 3rd and and then will be open to the public. There will be more items to finish but it will be open for the public to walk through and experience.
  • The memorial plaques and etched names will be take some time to get made and installed in the inserts located around the memorial.
  • There will be some small projects to be done as needed.
1/27/2006 Memorial Dedication Announced
The North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation is pleased to announce that the Memorial Dedication is set for May 6, 2006. A parade will kick off the day starting at 9:00am. The Dedication and Memorial Service will start at 2:00pm and a Candlelight Service at 7:00pm. Additional times and detailed info will be made available at a later time. Please make plans to be there and help honor the memory of North Carolina’s Fallen Heroes.

Please note a slight change in the Memorial Service start time.

1/2/2006 Construction Update 12-28-2005

The tops of the walls are in, the slate is all installed and grouted. Items still left include plaques, modeling the collapsed stone wall, pillar tops, etc.

Donations can be sent to North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation, 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150, Raleigh, NC 27607

12/1/2005 Family of Fallen Fighter Sees Memorial with Mixed Emotions
Todd Blanchard died July 14, 2005 but his family recently toured the under construction memorial with NCFFF Chaplain Gene Moore that will honor his memory and scarfice. For more info on Todd.
11/20/2005 Construction Update 11-16-2005

The statues arrived in a pickup truck and trailer. A lift started moving the figures into place one by one. Each had to be lifted into place, their locations marked, hole drilled, and mounted in place. The fallen firefighter and the kneeling figure was placed first as they were attached together. The hose man was installed next followed by the figure lifting the beam. By the end of the day the site was transformed from a dream to a realization. By the time this is posted the concrete floor should be poured and on Monday the blue slate floor should be started. Progress is being made but we still need donations to be able to complete the memorial.

Donations can be sent to North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation, 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150, Raleigh, NC 27607

Additional Pictures can be seen at FireNew.net

11/13/2005 Construction Update 11-13-2005

The walls are now complete and back filled. The centerpiece platform’s electrical is completely roughed in and the first of two concrete pours are done. The second will be by mid week and then statues will be installed. What’s left you may ask? Lets see, pour concrete for floor, granite dust and blue slate final floor, wall tops, pillar tops, 2 of 4 flag pole bases, shaping centerpiece to look like rubble, plaques, and many more.

Donations can be sent to North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation, 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150, Raleigh, NC 27607

11/2/2005 Construction Update 11/02/05
The brick wall is nearly complete. The post sections are ready for their stones and decorative tops that will hold the names of the Honored. Insets are waiting for various plaques and the site is taking on a life of its own.

Donations can be sent to North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation, 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150, Raleigh, NC 27607

10/21/2005 NCFFF Greets Thousands of Visitors at State Fair
The Foundations booth at the North Carolina State Fair has greeted thousands of fair visitors this year. The booth contains merchandise to support the memorial as well give a personal updates of the construction status. Prizes for the next raffle are also on display. See pictures below. Thanks to all for their interest and help.

Donations can be sent to North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation, 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150, Raleigh, NC 27607

10/21/2005 Construction Update 10/21/05
Construction continues at the Memorial site. The concrete for the foundation of the walls have been poured. Block had been laid and the outer layer of brick along with it grows higher and higher. The center is being laid out and reinforced for phase 2 next year in anticipation of the memorial figures. See the picture below to see for yourself.

Donations can be sent to North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation, 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150, Raleigh, NC 27607

9/29/2005 Construction Begins 9/29/05
Construction has begun on the Memorial site. The concrete that once made up the center of Nash Square has been removed, the center light pole relocated, and fences erected to protect citizens from the construction. Over the coming months the circular wall, lighting, walkways, and blue slate will be laid. After that is complete the next step is to build the base for the statues and the placement of the statues. The Foundation has come along way but we still need your help. We are still accepting donations as we still try to keep this enduring memorial on track to honor North Carolina’s fallen heros.

Donations can be sent to North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation, 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150, Raleigh, NC 27607

9/28/2005 Blazin Wheels 2005 Pictures
View the pictures from this years Blazin Wheels. See the winner of the motorcycle and join in on a virtual ride with those who attended.
8/31/2005 NC Blanket of Protection Raffle Means $10,000 Donation
Sales for the raffle of the NC Blanket of Protection allowed Steven Stewart to reach his goal of $10,000.00 which was donated to the NCFFF. In addtion from the sale of wrist bands and a few extra tickets the last day of the conference they raised an additional $400.00 for a total contribution of $10,400.00 to the NCFFF.
7/14/2005 Eastern Wake, NC FD Firefighter Dies in Line of Duty

Memorial Service Update

The memorial service:

Saturday, July 16, 2005
5:00 PM
Edenton Street United Methodist Church
228 Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
(near the round high rise Holliday Inn downtown)
Staging will take place at:
Saturday, July 16, 2005
3:00 PM
Eastern Wake Fire Rescue Department
Poole Road at Clifton Road
Knighdale, NC
All Fire apparatus planning to participate in the processional from the station to the church should plan to be in line for the drive when directed after this time for arrival at the church. Black bunting cover is requested for each apparatus and black covers for department shields will be worn to show our unity of support of the grief the family and department is experiencing.
Food will be provided by the fire department and firefighters are welcomed at the station for anyone choosing to return to the station following the memorial service.
There will be no funeral home (director) services provided, but the memorial service will be under the procedural direction of Chaplain Gene Moore, NCFFF. He will be also assisted by others from the Easter Wake Fire Department and North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation Board. Members.

Eastern Wake firefighter Todd Blanchard, 31, died Thursday, July 14, 2005 around 1 AM from injuries suffered at a fire at Turnipseed Road and Major Slade Road in the unincorporated Knightdale area.

According to fire officials, a massive tree at that intersection was struck by lightning at approximately 5:00 PM yesterday afternoon. Firefighters responded, applied water, and, when the fire appeared to be out, left the scene.

Blanchard was one member of a three-firefighter crew that returned to the scene at 12:42 AM today in response to a report that the tree was still smoldering. The crew applied water to the smoldering area, and then approached the tree to examine that smoldering area more closely. As the crew walked toward the tree, a limb estimated to be 2.5 feet in diameter broke and fell. Blanchard was struck by the limb. The two firefighters who responded with Blanchard managed to remove the limb, and began CPR when they determined that Blanchard’s breathing and heart had stopped. Eastern Wake EMS paramedics arrived at the scene, initiated advanced life support treatment and took Blanchard to WakeMed. Paramedic and hospital efforts to revive Blanchard were unsuccessful. He was aggressively managed by EMS and the Trauma Staff at WakeMed, with a time of death around 0230. Massive chest trauma was the cause of death.

A line-of-duty firefighter death is investigated by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the North Carolina Department of Labor’s occupational health and safety staff and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Eastern Wake fire officials initiated this process before 6:00 AM this morning.

Blanchard had worked as a full-time firefighter for Eastern Wake Fire Department for approximately two years. He came to Eastern Wake Fire Department from the Garner Fire Department.

Surviving Blanchard are his parents, two daughters and a fiancé. Blanchard and his fiancé were planning an October wedding.

Eastern Wake fire officials have asked that media inquiries be directed to Sharon Brown, Wake County Public Information Officer, 856-7330.

WRAL News Article
News14 Article
News and Observer Article
Wake County News Article
WTVD Article

McPherson’s Meanderings: Firefighter warmed this friend’s heart


White lines blurred into the onyx roadway as I wound my way out into eastern Wake County. I had to see the sight where the world came crashing down.

It was an old white house, weathered, rustic, in need of repair with a craggy, ancient oak. It lay demolished, split into pieces, smoldering. A lightning strike from a storm the night before felled the great tree in its yard.

There, yellow tape marked hallowed earth. And a white towel showed the place where a fellow firefighter had fallen only hours before.

Eastern Wake Fire Rescue Department 31-year-old firefighter Todd Blanchard tragically lost his life in the line of duty July 14. He answered a second call to the damaged tree. This time, he and his squad were determined to put the fire out. But the tree struck back, in horrible and ghastly fashion.

A 2-foot-6 thick limb toppled, struck Blanchard and killed him.

The scene is surreal, hard to comprehend, still harder to swallow. This was the first time in the department’s history it lost a hero in the line of duty. And Todd Blanchard was one of the best — a dedicated, devoted, hard-working compassionate father and good friend. For me, I will remember several things about this gregarious, expressive fire warrior.

When I was learning to become a certified First Responder, it was Todd Blanchard and his fiancée, Allison Miller, who worked with me and several others to ensure we had the knowledge required to pass the course. He spent evenings with us at the department on his own time imparting knowledge, drilling us and making sure we were ready for the test.

We all passed with flying colors.

Todd Blanchard was the one who drove the children on the fire engine at my son’s birthday party. He always had a special place in his heart for my Willem, too. Blanchard’s favorite phone tease was, “When you coming up to the station so I can take that wrasslin’ belt from ya?” He’d poke Willem in the belly every time he saw him, and Willem would grin and we’d have a good laugh.

It was Todd Blanchard and Allison who came to visit Willem during his many stays in the hospital. Blanchard promised, lovingly, with each visit to wait for Willem’s complete recovery before covering him for the one, two, three.

It’s a match that will, now, never happen.

Blanchard was also a lifesaver to me. One night when I was having difficulties after sinus surgery, Blanchard and several firefighters responded to my home. As I sat in my living room chair holding my nose, Blanchard knelt by me and asked me questions about my condition. “I don’t think you’re gonna lose your nose,” he surmised. “But if you wanna give it away because of a damned leak in your beak, then so be it.”

We laughed all the way to the ambulance. Blanchard called my house days later to make sure I was OK. “I heard they gave you cocaine to stop the bleeding,” he said.

“Yeah,” I sighed. “Guess I’m a druggie now, eh?”

“I know some folks you can call where you can get the stuff cheaper than the hospital, if you ever feel the need for a fix,” Blanchard jawed. Then we belly laughed all afternoon.

But that was Todd Blanchard. He loved what he did, he did it well and he ultimately died doing it. He will be sorely missed, never forgotten and eternally loved.

They say God grants us all a certain number of days in this world. To be selfish, I think he gave Todd Blanchard way too few. And as I gazed again at that smoldering tree, the broken limb, the evidence tape and the place where my friend served his last in this life, I felt the emotion surge. I turned for the car, pointed the vehicle toward home and hoped that the tears of my grief would quench the raging anger over the loss.

I will miss you always, Todd Blanchard. Godspeed.

(Michael McPherson of Knightdale is an award-winning columnist and former Eastern Wake News reporter.)

5/11/2005 RANDOLPH COUNTY – Assistant Chief died while on duty at the Level Cross Fire Station
RANDOLPH COUNTY – Assistant Chief Mike Childress, age 47, died while on duty Saturday, May 07, 2005, at the Level Cross Fire Station (Randolph County Station 43).

The Chief was found at the station late Saturday morning by fellow firefighters, which included his daughter.

The arrangements are as follows:

Visitation will be Tuesday, May 10, 2005 from 18:00-21:00 at Pugh Funeral Home, 600 South Main Street, Randleman, NC 27317-2020. Phone 336-498-2648.

The funeral will be Wednesday, May 11, 2005 at 11:00 at Bethlehem United Methodist Church, 6103 NC Highway 22, Climax, NC 27233-9144.

The Level Cross Fire Department is located at 137 Branson Mill Road, Randleman, NC 27317. Their phone number is 336-498-7141. The email address for the department is LCVFD43@aol.com.

Copyright © 2005 – CAROLINAS FIRE PAGE – FireNews.net

The North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation will be supporting the family and department of Chief Childress by providing the Fire Family Transport Van. Five members of executive board will be attending.

5/4/2005 Angier NC, 3rd Annual Motorcycle Festival
Saturday, June 4, 2005 from 10:00am – 4:00pm at Depot Square – Angier, NC

Pre-registration by May 27, 2005 – $10
Ride in Registration 10:00am – 2:00pm – $12

Registration 8:00am at the Angier Fire Department
Run Departs at 10:00am

Chrome Sponsor
Williams Jewelers 45 B Depot Street
Angier, NC 27501
(919) 639-5554

Leather Sponsor
Olde Mill Motors 1477 N. Raleigh Street
Angier, NC 27501
(919) 639-4025

A portion of the proceeds willl go to support the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

4/3/2005 Check out Pictures from the Memorial Ground Breaking

The day started out overcast, raining off and on but the sky cleared up for a perfect Ground Breaking.

3/27/2005 Memorial Ground Breaking Less Than a Week Away
The days are counting down to the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial Ground Breaking. A map marking parking locations is available here. We are not asking departments to come with apparatus to the ground breaking as we hope to have a parade at the final dedication. We hope to see at the ground breaking this Saturday.
2/28/2005 Check out the Status of the NC Blanket of Protection
Click here to see a video of detailing the current status of the NC Blanket of Protection. It is listed under February 15th.




NEWS RELEASE: Thursday, February 10, 2005

2/4/2005 Berts Bash Info

“BERTS BASH” Third Annual Spring Fling on Saturday April 23, 2005 with proceeds to be split evenly between N.C. Fallen Firefighters Memorial & Dalton and Hailey Fletcher’s College Fund. The event will have Bike Games, People Games, Horseshoe Tournament, Bike Show, Vendors, Food and Concessions, Camping Available, and Free Stuff All Day. Live Music by Full Throttle Band and Dog House Retreat. Bert’s famous “old style” BBQ pig pickin served up from 12 noon until as long as it lasts. Admission $10.00 and Gates open at 10am. Bring your lounge chairs. Bring your tents and campers. Plan on having a terrific time while giving to a good cause. For more info: Walt (919)787-3969, Bert (919)554-8184,and Snapper (919)366-2608. Sponsored by Dragon Slayers MC

Schedule of Events
12:00 – 1:00 Registration Begins for all events
01:00 – Bike Rodeo begins
01:00 – Horseshoe Tournament begins
01:00 – Bike Show begins
03:00 – No more entries accepted for Bike Show
03:00 – On Stage “Dog House Retreat”
04:00 – Bike Show ends
04:00 – Pickle Licking Contest (cash prize)
04:30 – Horseshoe Finals begin
05:00 – Trophies Awarded all events, 50/50 drawing
06:00 – On stage “Full Throttle Band”

12/28/2004 The Legends Live On!! – Concert
The Legends Live On!! with The Chuck Wagon Gang Blackwoods ViewMasters
$12 in advance – $15 at door
Saturday, January 29th – 6pm
Agri-Civic Center – 414 Warsaw Rd. Clinton, NC

Sponsored by
North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation
Sampson County Fireman Honor Guard

12/27/2004 Bowling Tournament to Benefit N.C. Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Jaycee’s Burn Center
RALEIGH – The Capital Area FOOLS will be holding a benefit bowling tournament on January 28th at the AMF Pleasant Valley Bowling Alley. Proceeds will be split between the NCFFF and the Burn Center. Teams of four can enter for $35/person. For additional details visit their website at www.capitalareafools.org
12/18/2004 NCFFF Director of Operations sent to Hospital After House Fire
A house fire on Robateau Wynd of Olde Raleigh subdivision in Raleigh north of Edwards Mill Road and Duraleigh Road split sent Raleigh Fire Captain Andy Woodall to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Andy, one of the original starters of the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation, is now at home resting. As Director of Operations, Andy is responsible for the planning and execution of the memorial site and sculpture.

Related articles:
FireNews.net (Pictures coming soon)

11/19/2004 Fort Bragg Firefighter to Build North Carolina Blanket of Protection
Lieutenant Steven Stewart from the Fort Bragg Fire and Emergency Services is undertaking a major project that he hopes will bring much needed money to the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Lt. Stewart is constructing a quilt which he calls a North Carolina Blanket of Protection. He came up with the idea while making a quilt for his four year old son. I call it a blanket of protection because of the way our state’s fire departments weave together to form a blanket that protects life and property across the state.

His plan is to place a patch from each North Carolina department on the quilt and have it raffled at the S.A.F.E. Convention in August 2005 with the proceeds going to assist with the Fallen Firefighter Memorial. So far he has contacted the NC Fire Chiefs Association and patches are starting to trickle in.

He states that he is currently working on sending letters to every Fire Department in the state to request two patches from each and is looking for an agency that can assist him in his efforts by helping attach the patches to the quilt. Globe Fire-suits is making the blanket and donating it to this great cause.

“I think that the quilt will definitely be one of a kind and a cherished item for the lucky person who wins it.” If you have patches that you would like to donate please send them to Lt. Steven Stewart, 5835 Butler St., Hope Mills, NC 28348. Or if you would like to contact Lt. Stewart for more information please call 910-423-9938.

11/16/2004 Dalmatian Dash Results
We had a great turn out for our 3rd year. We had 67 – 5k walkers and 166 – 8k runners. About $2,800 was raised.

Top 3 winners were:
Dan Kahn (age 25, from Durham, 25:28)
Steve Sousa (age 37, from Morrisville, 29:07)
Ronnie Weed (age 29, from Chapel Hill, 30:21)

Hadara Adelson (age 25, from Raleigh, 36:33)
Jennings Fullwood (age 31, from Knightdale, 38:44)
Tonya Roy (age 34, from Wake Forest, 39:16)

9/28/2004 Good Luck to former Treasurer Mike Wallace
The foundations thoughts and prayers are with former NCFFF board member Mike Wallace. Click here to learn about his condition and need.
9/9/2004 2004 Brier Creek Country Club’s Dalmatian Dash
The competitive 8K will start at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 6, 2004. There will also be a non-competitive 5K Walk beginning at 8:45 a.m. The 8K race will be timed with the ChampionChip.

Entry fees are as follows: $25 by 10/22, $30 10/23-11/5, $35 race day
Children’s 5K walk fee: $10 ages 6-12 Free ages 5 and under (no t-shirt)
The entry fee includes a long-sleeved t-shirt and a continental breakfast (Provided by Great Harvest Bread Co, Smoothie King and Caribou Coffee).

Packet Pickup: Race packets can be picked up and late entries can register Friday night (November 5) from 5-8pm at Athlete’s Foot, Cameron Village, 2035 Cameron St Raleigh, NC 27605. Everyone who registers for the race or picks up a race packet on Friday will be entered in a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Athlete’s Foot.

In the 8K, awards and gift certificates to Athlete’s Foot will be given to the first three male/female finishers overall and the first three males and females in the following age divisions: 19-under, 20-29, 30-39, and 40-49, 50-59, and 60-over.

Directions to Brier Creek:
Take the Lumley Road exit off of 540 and turn left. At the stop sign go straight into Brier Creek. At the traffic circle, turn right and then take the first right off the circle (Arnold Palmer Drive). Turn left onto Club Hill Drive. The Clubhouse and registration is straight ahead.

Click the general application and start getting ready to make a dash to Brier Creek Country Club to help NCFFF.

Proceeds from the race will be given to the NC Fallen Firefighters Foundation to create a memorial for firefighters that will be erected in downtown Raleigh..

New to this Year’s Event: Fire Department Challenge: Every Fire Dept team wanting to compete will consist of three fireman. Each of their times will be added together for a team total. Cash prizes for best team total and fastest fireman.
Fire Department Challenge Application
Questions about Fire Dept Challenge contact Captain Willy Medlin (Raleigh FD) at 919-291-3451.

Fireman are need to volunteers their time: Contact Joel West (Raleigh FD)919-621-1055

9/4/2004 Winners the First Annual NCFFF Raffle
The winners the first annual raffle are:

Custom Motorcycle – Tim Playforth of Hope Mills, N.C.
$5000.00 cash – Jim Cobb of Raleigh, N.C.
$2,500.00 Custom Motorcycle paint job By T-Bear Design – Don McQueary of Willow Spring, N.C.
John Deere Gator – Mike Tennis of High Point, N.C.

Congratulations to all the winners.

9/2/2004 New Design for Family Transport Vehicle

The North Carolina Fallen Fighters wishes to show you a new design for the Family Transport Vehicle. The new design will reflect our recognizable “Red Line” design. The van should soon be repainted, decals added and placed back in service to provide assistance to the family of a firefighter who has died in the line of duty or by natural death as soon as complete.

Departments/Associations with Honor Guards,
The North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation is currently seeking a department/association to host the Family Transport Vehicle. This is a 15 passenger transport van that is utilized to provide assistance to the family of a firefighter who has died in the line of duty or by natural death. Please read the Standard Operating Guideline at the link below and then contact c.simon@ncfff.org for consideration.

9/2/2004 Jack Daniel’s Special Collectors Bottle Statewide
Announcing the release of special collectors bottle for the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial across the state. The product is being bottled mid September and should be in the listed ABC stores by the first week in October.

Catawba ABC #2 and 3, Greensboro ABC #4 and 5, Cumberland ABC #6, Albemarle ABC #7, Sylva ABC #8 Wake ABC #9 and 10, Gastonia #11, High Point ABC #12, Durham ABC #13, Mecklenburg ABC #14, 15, 16 and 17.

4/23/2004 Chesterfield, SC Firefighter Dies of Apparent Heart Attack during Blaze
SC Fire Fighter Bruce Rodgers died of an apparent heart attack while fighting a blaze at the Chesterfield Community Center.
4/13/2004 LODD – Vanns, North Carolina Firefighter Killed In Wreck
ANDY BRITT, Courtesy of The Sampson Independent – 04-8-2004 SAMPSON COUNTY – A black bow donning the front of a fire engine, a white one on the door and flags flying at half staff signified a day of sadness Wednesday at the Vann’s Crossroads Fire Dept. Chief Jamey Jones greeted countless mourners and phone callers who paid their respects to a fallen comrade. He was en route to a department mandated training class when the accident happened. Junior volunteer fireman Phillip Stephen Hulen lived his 19 years to the fullest, according to friends. An outstanding young citizen, his life was tragically cut short when he was killed in a single-vehicle accident just north of Newton Grove.

“He was a very outgoing and energetic young man,” Jones said, with a noticeable lump in his throat. “We will miss him dearly.”

The wreck occurred Tuesday at approximately 7 p.m. on U.S. 701 near Stewart Road in Johnston County.

Hulen lost control of his 1997 Ford sport utility vehicle, ran off the road, overcorrected and then ran off the other side of the road where he struck a tree. No one else was involved in the crash.

According to the Highway Patrol, Hulen was traveling 65 mph in a 55-mph limit zone and struck a road sign before swerving back on to the road.

The report did not indicate if he was pronounced deceased at the scene or first transferred to hospital. The report said he was not wearing a seat belt. Alcohol is not thought to be a factor.

Well on his way to becoming a decorated member of the fire brigade, he joined the force at age 18. He had already completed 238 hours of training to become a full-fledged member, although only 36 hours were required.

“It’s going to be tough dealing with a loss like this,” Jones said. “When you were the first one here and were waiting on some more help, nine times out of 10, you were waiting on Phillip to be coming; he’d be on his way. It’s going to be tough.

“We’re extremely thankful for the thoughts and prayers from the community, and we hope they continue in the days to come.”

Prior to graduating from Hobbton High School in 2002, Hulen was a member of the Future Farmers of America and was hoping to one day matriculate at N.C. State University. According to principal Tommy Macon, he was a very well-liked and trustworthy.

Hulen, who was attending Wayne County Community College, was an assistant manager at Smithfield’s Barbecue in Newton Grove, and worked part-time at East Coast Agri-Tech. He was also very active in church ministry. Hulen graduated from Hobbton High School in 2002.

He is survived by his parents, Stephen Lawrence and Belinda Sinclair Hulen, and his brother, Matthew, among other family members.

In addition to Hulen’s family funeral services held on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Salemburg Baptist Church, the Sampson County Fireman’s Association is also planning a full honor fireman’s memorial at a date and time to be determined.

Jones asked that in lieu of flowers, to please send donations to the Sampson County Fireman’s Association, c/o Vann’s Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department, 4550 Church Rd., Newton Grove, N.C. 28366; or to Brown’s Baptist Church, c/o Marie Pope, 124 Boykin Dr., Clinton, N.C. 28328.

3/29/2004 Bash at Berts, April 17, 12 Noon Until 6pm
Bash at Berts, April 17, 12 Noon Until 6pm – BIKE GAMES with Trophies, Live Bands, Silent Auctions, Shirts on Sale, BBQ Plates served until 4pm, Hourly Give-aways, Patio Master Grill given away at 5pm, Come help us raise money to support The Fallen Firefighters Foundation, The most fun you ever had for only $10.00 pp. For more information or tickets: Walt @ waltfire911@aol.com Woody @ captjwoody@aol.com Bert@ chdream@aol.com
2/25/2004 The Carolina Mudcats invite you to attend Local Heros Night!
Monday, June 7, 2004, Carolina Mudcats vs. Jacksonville Suns
Game Time 7:15 at Five County Stadium

The Carolina Mudcats will be honoring and celebrating local heroes involved in police, fire and rescue agencies.

Gather your friends and family to celebrate with us and take advantage of half price tickets for all!

$3.50 per person for Box Seats!
*Ages 6 and Under are Free*

Please call Chris MacLean with the Carolina Mudcats to order tickets.
(919) 269-2287
The deadline to order tickets is Friday, June 4.

To get this discount, tickets must be ordered and paid for by the above deadline.

1/8/2004 The Legend Go’s On!! with the “Award Winning” Blackwoods
The Legend Go’s On!! with the “Award Winning” Blackwoods also featuring the Viewmasters, The Starlights, and Jane Merritt at Clinton Agri-Civic Center on Saturday, January 31st at 6pm. Sponsored by the Noth Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Sampson County Firemen Honor Guard.
11/22/2003 Eastern Region Response Chaplain Named
Chaplain Johnny Phillips has been named the Eastern Region Response Chaplain.

His contact info is: Johnny Phillips, 105 East Liberty St., Williamston, NC 27892 – (252)792-3625 office or (252)809-0815 home and at


11/18/2003 A special Thank You
A Special Thank You goes to so many people that assisted with resent fund raisers. Michael Aoun with the Mediteranian Grill for his assistance with the N.C. Seafood Festival, also his help on aquiring the spot at the N.C. State Fair and his consulting us on the raffle. I would like to thank all of the firefighters and civilian volunteers for their help at the state fair. The Leonard Company for the donation of the storage building at the fair. We were able to raise enough money to give the artist another $ 6,500.00 toward the memorial. I want to thank Summer, Jim , Michelle and all of the people at Brier Creek Country Club for the out standing job they did organizing this years Dalmatian Dash. I also want to thank the runners, this year we have over 165 to participate. The list goes on from the firefighters that ran also to the firefighters and civilians that volunteered. Avery special thank you also goes the the volunteers from the Raleigh Police Department for their assistance in traffic control. Next year we want to challenge firefighters from all over the state to participate in this 8k run. The entrance fee helps the families of fallen firefighters and with the running this can help your heart in two ways, exercising and giving to such a great cause.
11/18/2003 NCFFF 1st Annual Raffle
The North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation is holding their first annual raffle. For a ten dollar ticket we will be giving away $50,000.00 in prizes on July 17,2004 at Ray Price Harley-Davidson. Grand prize will be a MCC custom chopper valued at $29,000.00, First prize will be $5000.00 in cash, next will be a John Deere gator valued at over $4,500.00, a Leonard building valued at $4,000.00, a custom paint job for a motorcycle valued at $2,500.00, a NCFFF rock relief sculpture valued at $1,500.00 and several other prized. We are in the process of delivering the tickets to participating fire department throughout the state. Please cotact our foundation office for details on how your department can get involved. Toll free 1-877-810-1800 or in Raleigh at 919-834-1800.
10/8/2003 Briar Creek County Club Hosts 8K Dalmatian Dash
North Carolina Firefighters,
November 8, 2003 the Briar Creek County Club near RDU in Raleigh is hosting and sponsoring a 8K Dalmatian Dash for the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation. They are requesting 20 volunteers to help with the event. If you would like to assist with this event contact Captain Woodall at Nextel ID # 26*47365 or mobile at 919-291-3441 for additional information. Timeframe for this event will be from 7am-11am approximately.

Thank you for all of the support,

Lee Barbee
NCFFF President

10/8/2003 North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation / NC State Fair
North Carolina Firefighters,
October 17-26, 2003 the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation will have a booth set up at the NC State Fair. It will be located on the East side of the Dorton Arena near the Television Station booths. On display will be merchandise and information of the Foundation. We will also set up a fill the boot campaign to raise money for the Memorial. We are requesting your help in manning the booth during this time. The shifts will run from 10:00am- 3:00pm and 3:00pm- 9:00pm each day. To volunteer to work a shift you can contact Captain Woodall at Nextel ID # 26*47365 or mobile at 919-291-3441.

Thank you for all of the support,

Lee Barbee
NCFFF President

9/4/2003 Honor Our Heroes – Benefit Concert
In October 2003 a four year old boy who attends Powerline Church of the Nazarene was severely injured in an accident at his home. Through the timely response and efforts of the local fire department and emergency medical and law enforcement personnel his life was saved. The family and the boy whose life was spared consider all who helped their “Heroes.” Powerline Church of the Nazarene is proud to be affiliated with “Honor Our Heroes,” an initiative aimed at remembering those that serve and protect. In these times of uncertainty it is important to remember the Heroes who put themselves in harms way to protect each of us. On Saturday, September 13, Powerline will provide the community an opportunity to show their appreciation for the selfless work done those who serve and protect us.

Powerline is hosting this benefit concert in conjunction with a national “Honor Our Heroes” campaign during the year 2003. During the concert local firefighters and local emergency and law enforcement personnel will be recognized.

Admission to the benefit concert is free. A love offering will be taken with proceeds going to the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Entertainment will be provided by the acclaimed INSP Singers as seen on the Inspiration Network.

The concert starts at 7:00 PM. A nursery will be provided. Directions to the church can be obtained by calling the church office at 336-449-6180.

We hope that you and all of the members of your association can attend.

Tim Taylor
Senior Pastor

Charles Walker
Engineer, Elon Fire Department
Member Powerline Church of the Nazarene

8/21/2003 Merchandise Update
The baseball caps are currently sold out. We should be ordering some soon and are looking at new styles and artwork. The new 2003 tee shirts are also in, these have the names from last year added. Contact Keith Powell at map@intrstar.net to get yours.
8/21/2003 Family Transport Vehicle, Now in Service
At the recent North Carolina State Firemen’s Association Conference the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation notified honor guards that they now had a new resource, a family transport vehicle. The NCFFF will provide upon request the 15 passenger transport van with a uniformed driver/s. From the time of call requesting support until all family functions are complete after the burial services. The requesting fire department shall be responsible for providing sleeping arrangements, food, and fuel for the driver and van. Read more information about the Family Transport Vehicle PDF File .
7/30/2003 NC Firefighter Fatalities – Jones and Coffey
Name: Randy Neal Jones
Rank: Lieutenant
Age: 23
Status: Volunteer
Years of Service: 6 years
Date of Incident: 07/28/2003
Time of Incident: 1732hrs
Date of Death: 07/28/2003
Fire Department: Cool Springs Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
Fire Department Address: 641 Mocksville Hwy. Statesville, NC 28625
Fire Department Phone: (704)-872-3221
Fire Dept. Email: info@coolspringsvfd.org
Fire Department Chief: David Cline
Cause of Death: Lieutenant Jones died from traumatic injuries sustained
after being involved in a motor vehicle crash (POV) while responding to a
structure fire. He was pronounced dead at Wake Forest Baptist Medical
Wake: Pending
Funeral: Pending
Memorial Fund: Memorials may be made to the Cool Springs VFD in honor of
Randy Jones, 6 41 Mocksville Hwy. Statesville, NC 28625

Name: Douglas Bruce Coffey
Rank: Firefighter
Age: 51
Status: Volunteer
Years of Service: 16
Date of Incident: 07/22/2003
Time of Incident: 1520hrs
Date of Death: 07/23/2003
Fire Department: Blowing Rock Fire Department
Fire Department Address: P.O. Box 570, 189 Park Avenue, Blowing Rock, NC
Fire Department Phone: (828)-295-5221 / (828)-295-4172-Fax
Fire Dept. Email: brfire@bellsouth.net
Fire Department Chief: Marcus Hickman
Cause of Death: Firefighter Coffey died from an apparent heart attack
after returning home from working a residential structure fire.
Memorial Fund: Memorials may be made to the Blowing Rock Fire Department,
P.O. Box 570, Blowing Rock, NC 28605.

7/16/2003 Local Heroes Night with the Carolina Mudcats
Local Heroes Night, Monday, August 11th, 2003 as the Carolina Mudcats take on the Orlando Rays with a Game Time of 7:15 at Five County Stadium. The Carolina Mudcats will be honoring and celebrating local heroes involved in police, fire and rescue agencies. Gather your friends and family and come celebrate! Only $5.00 per person for Box Seats!! Please Call AMY KOLER or ANNA WHITEHURST at the Mudcats to order tickets 919-269-2287. The deadline to order tickets is Friday, August 9th. *To get this discount, tickets must be ordered and paid for by the above deadline. http://www.gomudcats.com/
6/26/2003 Note to Chaplains – Chaplains Regional Response Team

During the 2001 Annual Conference, held in Greensboro, we discussed how we, as Chaplains, could better help each other. We talked about how we could bridge the gap of communication across the State, network within our own region, and most of all, better help those we serve. No interest or movement has occurred since our discussion.

This need surfaced again at a meeting that was held with the Board of the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The need is there and once again God has placed on my heart, as well as others, the desire for this concept to move forward.

Here is the concept that we explored back in 2001.

1. At each Regional Association meeting (Western, Piedmont and Eastern), Chaplains would meet in conjunction with the regional meeting.
2. This would accomplish several things:

The Chaplains would not have to plan or create another meeting. A meeting space would already be provided in conjunction with each Association.

b. A meal would be provided through the Association
Note: Each Chaplain would be responsible for paying for his own meal, unless his or her fire department provided it.
c. The Chaplains would be seen as a vital part of the Regional Association.
d. Provide a networking opportunity for the Chaplains.
e. This networking opportunity would be twofold; 1) in the event that a department needed the services of a Chaplain, it would not be the first time that they meet, when called upon for an emergency event, and 2) in the event a Chaplain needed assistance, he or she would not meet for the first time on an emergency event.
f. In the event that a very large-scale event should occur that would exhaust the Regional Association resources for additional Chaplains, a network would already be in place.
3. As stated back in 2001, and as we approach the 2003 Annual Conference, we are not trying to create another organization or cause a burden on your time; however, we do want to create a support network to help each other and better assist those we are serving. The Chaplains’ Regional Response Team, or “CRRT”, would help to fill the gap.

In closing, I would ask that you prayerfully seek God’s wisdom and guidance as we once again look at providing this service. Pray that God would place on a Chaplain’s heart in each region the desire to lead the group or be the point person to just get the word out about the time, date and location of each meeting.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please give me a call or drop me an email.

Phone # (336) 773-7975 Email: briank@cityofwsfire.org

6/12/2003 Added Info on Blazin Wheels 2003

The Official Blazin Wheels Ride will be on July 19, 2003.
For more information on the The Blazin Wheels Ride go to the website

Check out pictures from last years ride.

The Week of June 16th though the 21st Ray Price Harley Davidson of Raleigh, is sponsoring the Fire Fighter – Emergency Worker Appreciation Week. On Saturday the 21st, A Motorcycle Poker Run is be sponsored by Ray Price Harley Davidson, with the proceeds going to the NC Fallen Fighter Foundation.

2/25/2003 New Concept Drawing Available
A new concept drawing has been created of the memorial in it’s approved location in the center of Nash Square. Click here to see it.
2/25/2003 Firefighter Memorial To Be Built In Raleigh’s Nash Square
A memorial to North Carolina’s fallen firefighters will be built in Nash Square, despite protests from the Raleigh Arts Commission. The Raleigh City Council approved a location for a new firefighter memorial to the dismay of members from the arts community.

Cary artist Carl Regutti is already sculpting the life-sized tribute. The Raleigh City Council voted back in 2001 to put the memorial in Nash Square.

On Tuesday, the chairman of the Arts Commission asked the city to put the memorial somewhere else saying it would be too big for the park, but councilmembers turned down that request.

The sculpture is scheduled to be placed in Nash Square by fall 2004.

2/18/2003 A Monumental Debate
Caustic tiff over where to put firefighters memorial comes to a head today


RALEIGH — More than two years ago, the N.C. Fallen Firefighters Foundation commissioned a monument that would honor those killed in the line of duty. Carl W. Regutti’s sculpture, which features three uniformed firefighters pulling wreckage off a mortally wounded colleague, was bound for Nash Square until last week — when the Raleigh Arts Commission decided it didn’t belong there.
The City Council has already approved the location of the half-finished bronze sculpture, but it may reconsider the decision today, when the arts commission formally gives its recommendation. The fight has been nasty. Art aficionados, led by a former commission member, Lee Hansley, say the sculpture is unworthy of settling in the historic square. The firefighters say this smacks of snobbery. Several arts commission members have rebuked the city staff and council for bypassing them on the location issue, saying it represents a poor process for policy. But at the heart of the matter is a philosophical debate that often arises when monuments meet the art world.

“Putting a firefighter sculpture in Nash Square would be like messing up a Monet,” said Hansley, who owns a Raleigh gallery and has led the charge against the monument’s going in Nash Square. “I don’t really care about this sculpture. I care about Nash Square.”

“He called it schmaltz, that man with the private gallery,” Regutti said of Hansley. “Well, I can show you 300 letters from the families of firefighters who say it is art.”

Throughout modern history, controversy has shadowed monuments that are supposed to double as art. Last year, Brooklyn roiled over a memorial to firefighters who died in the World Trade Center attacks. The monument, based on a photograph of three firefighters raising the U.S. flag at the scene of the destruction, was called “Flag Raising at Ground Zero.” Critics called it the latest in “maudlin, over-literal bronzes” that have also included the Irish Famine memorials in Boston and Cambridge, Mass. In 2000, critics of the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., called it “imperialist kitsch” and an architectural eyesore.

Hansley and Joseph Covington, a former arts commission chairman, say Regutti’s sculpture is neither moving nor compelling. Hansley said that putting a firefighter monument in Nash Square would turn one of the city’s landscape architecture gems into a cemetery.

“I do not like the sculpture,” Hansley said. “I have every right in the world to say that. That square is sacred.”

Several City Council members did not agree Jan. 31, when the council confirmed the location of the memorial along with some changes in scale and design, as advised by various city commissions.

On Feb. 4, Hansley went to the council’s evening public hearing to protest. The council then referred the issue to the arts commission, which also invited Regutti and Capt. Andy Woodall, who heads the N.C. Fallen Firefighters Foundation, to attend.

Nash Square is bounded by Hargett, McDowell, Martin and Dawson streets in downtown Raleigh. It is one of five public squares that surveyor William Christmas laid out in his 1792 plan for the capital. In antebellum times, the 4-acre park was the center of open-air, secondhand clothing exchanges and tent shows. Today, it is a congregating point for downtown workers eating their lunches and homeless men sleeping on park benches. At night, despite a city-funded remodeling that includes extra lighting, the square is deserted, save for the rats that shuffle in the bushes.

In other words, Woodall and Regutti say, the firefighter sculpture would improve the square. “It [Nash Square] is not so much a gem as we like to think it is,” Regutti told the arts commission at its meeting last week.

Woodall says he has taken scores of families to Nash Square to show them where the sculpture is going. He says that his integrity is at stake and that hiding the memorial in some distant corner would dishonor the firefighters.

“Let me say that 85 percent of the firefighters in this state are volunteer,” he told the arts commission as he paced back and forth during the meeting last week, his voice shaking with indignation. “I’m not trying to get emotional on you about this. I want this to be as beautiful as possible, too. I know how important Nash Square is.”

After the arts commission decided against Nash Square as the location, Chairman Alec Donaldson tried to assure Woodall and Regutti that the sculpture would still find a final and appropriate resting place. “Nobody on this body has doubted the endeavor,” he said.

But the firefighter and the artist were not so sure. As they lugged a model of the sculpture and a briefcase full of drawings out of the meeting, they wondered out loud why they had to be second-guessed now.

“Everybody thinks they’re an artist and art critic and all,” Regutti said.

Staff writer Joanna Kakissis can be reached at 829-4622 or jkakissi@newsobserver.com.
From The News & Observer Publishing Company.

1/29/2003 Coats Grove Fire/Rescue – LODD
Terry Wren Carroll (Firefighter / Traffic Control)

Coats Grove Fire/Rescue

Died at age 51 on 01/07/03 while on duty

6 years of dedicated service, lost his life doing what he loved.

Heart attack while answering a medical call.

Our condolences to the Carroll family and the Coats-Grove Fire and Rescue of Coats, North Carolina. Firefighter Terry Carroll, 51, a 6 year veteran of the Coats-Grove Fire and Rescue died Tuesday January 7, 2003. Terry passed away at Duke Medical Center as a result of injuries he sustained from a massive heart attack during an EMS call on Friday December 27, 2002.

Terry served as a volunteer firefighter, traffic controller, and medical responder for Coats- Grove Fire and Rescue. After the heart attack he was transported to Good Hope Hospital and later transferred to Duke Medical Center, where he passed away.

Visitation for Terry will be held Friday January 10, 2003 7-9PM at Rose and Graham Funeral Home in Coats. A funeral for Terry will be held Saturday January 11, 2003 11AM at Coats Baptist Church in Coats. Internment will follow at Bethal Baptist Cemetery.

Our brother Terry leaves behind his wife Donna, two grown children, and four grandchildren. A memorial trust fund has been established and donations can be made to:

Terry Carroll Memorial Fund
c/o First Citizens Bank
19 North McKinley Street
Coats, NC 27521

1/27/2003 Charlotte Fire Captain Suffers Apparent Heart Attack and Dies on Duty

From FireHouse

Official Press Release

It is with great regret and sadness that the Charlotte Fire Department announces the sudden death of a member of our own family. Charlotte Fire Captain Michael “Wayne” Copeland, 50 years old collapsed at the site of schedule training fire Saturday (Jan. 25) afternoon.

Wayne was not actively engaged in firefighting at the time of his collapse. Fellow Charlotte FireFighters began immediate resuscitation efforts as Medic was called to the scene. Capt Wayne Copeland was quickly transported to Carolinas Medical Center where continued efforts to resuscitate Wayne were unsuccessful. Our prayers, thoughts, and support go out to Capt Copeland and his family at this very difficult time.

The Charlotte Fire Dept family is grateful for the support that has already being extended to us as we deal with this tragic event. At this time the funeral arraignments are incomplete. Wayne leaves behind a daughter. He had 23 years of service and was assigned to Station 30.

Abiding with the wishes of Wayne’s family, there will be no visitation or services. There will be a private ceremony for immediate family only. It was his wish to be cremated. The family is planning “Celebration of Life” for friends and Fire Department personnel. Date, location and time will be announced later. A charity fund is also being set up and these details will be announced as they become available.

1/20/2003 Sampson County Leads The Way!!!
Plaques and table top models of the N. C. Fallen Firefighters monument are given to sponsors of $500 or more. Front, from left to right, Silver Sponsor plaque and Platinum Sponsor model, back, left to right, Diamond Sponsor model and Gold Sponsor plaque.

Sampson firefighters support fallen firefighters memorial
(January 18, 2003)
From the Sampson Independent

Firefighters in Sampson County have set a precedence for other firefighters across the state.

All 16 fire departments across the county have sponsored the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial which will be erected in Raleigh’s Nash Square across from their central fire station.

“We are the first county in North Carolina to have 100-percent county-wide participation from the fire departments,” Keith Powell said.

Powell, second vice president of the N. C. Fallen Firefighters Foundation, is also an assistant chief with the Taylors Bridge Fire Department here in Sampson County.

For the past year Powell and fellow Taylors Bridge Fire Department Chief Teddy Booth and Capt. Gene Matthis have worked day and night encouraging fire departments in Sampson and surrounding counties to become a sponsor. They have also received sponsorship from many businesses and individuals.

As an official sponsor of $250, an individual’s or business’ name will be placed at the monument for others to see when they visit the memorial.

In addition to the name being placed at the memorial, bronze sponsors of $500 receive a plaque of the memorial. A plaque is also offered to a silver, $750, and a gold, $1,000 sponsor. As a platinum, $2,500, or diamond, $5,000, sponsor, the sponsor may chose between a plaque or table-top model of the memorial. The diamond model is graced with a diamond set in the monument’s label.

“I think it speaks highly for the firefighters in Sampson County,” Powell said. “Their participation as sponsors show their dedication to fallen brothers and what the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation supports.”

The monument, showing a firefighter struck down in a collapse with three other firefighters trying to rescue him, is being constructed piece by piece, one firefighter at a time. As each piece is completed, it is sent to a bronzing company to wait for the remaining pieces. All pieces will be bronzed at the same time so they will age equally. Once completed, the firefighters in the monument will stand 7-feet tall.

The short term goal for the N. C. Fallen Firefighter Foundation is to complete the monument. According to Powell, the long term goals are to set up a scholarship program for children of fallen firefighters, establish a state fire museum, and provide assistance to families of fallen firefighters who have died in the line of duty but do not meet the requirements for state and federal funding.

In addition to the fire departments and businesses that have become sponsors in Sampson County, Rescue and Emergency Medical Service groups have supported the program.

Sampson County Emergency Management Services has also joined in sponsoring the fund.

Powell will continue to seek sponsors in Sampson County. He has already begun working in Pender and Bladen Counties.

“Faison Fire Department is the first fire department in Duplin County to become a sponsor,” Powell said. “A portion of their district is actually in Sampson County.”

Powell hopes Faison Fire Department’s sponsorship will encourage other departments in Duplin County to also become sponsors.

In 2002, six firefighters lost their lives in the line of duty in North Carolina. Since Jan. 1, 2003, one North Carolina firefighter has died.

“Thursday was the five year anniversary that Brian Cannon died when the fire truck he was operating overturned when returning to the station after a call,” Powell said. “Every year, firefighters from the Taylors Bridge Fire Department gather at the station and check in service for one hour in remembrance of Brian.”

Brian was a lieutenant at Taylors Bridge Fire Department at the time of his death on Jan. 16, 1998. He is survived by his wife, Shannon, and a daughter, Kelsey.

For information to become a sponsor, contact Keith Powell at (910) 592-4240.
Rod Brown can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 22 or by email at sicrime@intrstar.net.

1/2/2003 Memorial to get Center of Square
The North Carolina Historic Commission has unanimously approved Nash Square for placement of the North Carolina Fallen Firefighter Memorial. The different committees with the City Of Raleigh have also expressed a desire for it to be placed in the center. This will be a better location for the memorial as it will be a centerpiece of such an historic capitol square.
1/2/2003 Seven names from the past have been added to the list of honored.
Through recent research with the help of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History seven more fallen firefighters have been added to the list. Below is a summary of those added, be sure to read their bio by clicking on their name.

Name: Edgar B. Elliott Jr.
Date: 10 June 1931
Department: Button Fire Company, New Bern
Status: Volunteer
County: Craven

Name: Harry E. Nissen
Date: 28 November 1932
Department: Winston-Salem Fire Department
Status: Career
County: Forsyth

Name: Charles Schnibben
Date: June 16, 1933
Department: Wilmington Fire Department
Status: Career
County: New Hanover

Name: David Eugene Jackson
Date: June 22, 1935
Department: Washington Fire Department
Status: Volunteer
County: Beaufort

Name: William Lloyd Neely
Date: November 15, 1936
Department: Statesville Fire Department
Status: Career
County: Iredell

Name: Everette Anson Carr
Date: December 26, 1947
Department: Weldon Fire Department
Status: Volunteer
County: Halifax

Name: John D. Earle
Date: April 26, 1961
Department: West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company (owners of timberland)
Status: Career
County: Tyrrell

12/18/2002 The Legend Go’s On!! Benefit
The Legend Go’s On!! with the Award Winning Blackwoods. Also featuring The Viewmasters, The Starlights, and Jane Merritt at Hobbton High School Auditorium Saturday, January 25th at 6:00 PM. Sponsored by the NC Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Sampson County Firemen Honor Guard.
11/3/2002 Check out the pictures from the Carolina Bronze Factory.
Check out the pictures from the Carolina Bronze Factory of the first Life-Size Fallen Firefighter wax casting being made. In the first picture Ed Walker (foundry owner) works on the head and the chest wall in the second.
9/23/2002 Firefighter Dies In Firetruck Crash In Guilford County
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Officials said a firetruck crashed Monday at the intersection of Frieden Church and Bittle roads in McLeansville killing one firefighter. The firefighter worked at the McLeansville Fire Department, and was the only person in the truck. Officials said the truck was not on the way to a call when the crash happened. Officials have not released identity of the firefighter. They said they are waiting for family members to arrive at the scene. Witnesses tell the News that the firetruck flipped over and landed on its top. Appears the firefighter lost control and fell into a ditch.

Update from Firehouse.com
A firefighter from the McLeansville Fire Department was killed Monday when she lost control of the pumper truck she was driving on a non-emergency assignment. Firefighters and their families gathered at Station 7 in McLeansville to comfort one other a few hours after the wreck. (August L. Meyland III/©News & Record) It was the Guilford County rural fire fighting force’s first loss in more than 30 years. Cassandra Powell, who had joined the mostly-volunteer McLeansville department as a paid firefighter only five weeks before but had spent a number of years driving for other Guilford departments, was pronounced dead at the scene on Freiden Church Road about 11:07 a.m. She left McLeansville’s headquarters station after picking up equipment and was returning alone to McLeansville Station No. 27 on High Rock Road, where she is assigned as a driver. Trooper Royce Barham said the truck left the road on the right, came back onto to the pavement and then swung out of control on opposite side of the road. The truck, fully loaded with water, hit a ditch and overturned. The top of the truck was crushed from front to back. Rescue workers had to cut open the truck to remove Powell’s body. County Fire Marshal Charlie Porter said the last time the county fire fighting force lost a firefighter was before he came to the county 33 years ago. “She had a good record,” Porter said. “It’s just what happens. Why it happened we may never know. Did you take her eye off the road momentarily? Did she drop something?” Emotions were apparent at the accident. Her husband, Joe Powell, a firefighter at Station 13 with the Northeast Guilford Fire Department, was brought to the scene briefly. Another firefighter from Station 13, Jimmy Marley, removed a black firefighter’s helmet from the scene and placed it in his car. “She was a very experienced driver,” Marley said. “She was one of the best. He and others estimated that Powell was in her early 30s. They said she has children from a previous marriage. She had worked at the Colfax Fire Department before switching to McLeansville five weeks ago. She had also worked for the Summerfield Fire Department. On her days off, she served as a volunteer at her husband’s station, which is located across from Brightwood School.

Name: Cassandra Billings Powell
Rank: Firefighter
Age: 32
Status: Career
Years of Service: 5
Date of Incident: 09/23/2002
Time of Incident: 1107hrs
Date of Death: 09/23/2002
Fire Department: McLeansville Fire Department, Inc.
Fire Department Address: P.O. Box 166 McLeansville, NC 27301
Fire Department Phone: (336)-698-0241
Fire Department Email: mclfd@earthlink.net
Fire Department Chief: Donny Shepard
Cause of Death: Firefighter Powell was involved in routine duties, enroute between stations when the vehicle she was driving ran off the right side of the road. As the vehicle was steered back onto the road it overturned, pinning the victim in the cab. The accident resulted in severe trauma to the head and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wake:Visitation from 7pm-9pm Wednesday 24th, at Fair Funeral Home in Eden, NC
Funeral: Thursday 25th at 2:00 pm at Osbourne Baptist Church in Eden, NC
— Internment will be at the Ridgeview Cemetary.

9/20/2002 Trip To New York City September 9th – 12th To Support FDNY & The Families

From the Chaplain……..

Theresa and I went to New York City September 9th through September 12th. My Dad suggested to me on the phone that he thought Theresa would enjoy New York and that she go with me. This encouraged her to look into that possibility and arrange her work so she could be away. That was a good suggestion.

We took Amtrak train number 92 departing Raleigh at 5:27 AM to Penn Station ( 34th Street ) in NYC and returned on train 91. This was an easy and pleasant way to go. It took a rather long time, but we enjoyed it. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner while we were going and coming home on the train and that was fun. While traveling I thought about the days my Dad had worked on the train with the US Post Office Railway Service and thought it must have been enjoyable for him though it was still work.

When we arrived in NYC we took a taxi about 10 blocks to our hotel at 47th and Broadway at the Doubletree Hotel and were given a free suite by the FDNY firefighters on the top floor (a penthouse suite) for our three nights stay. We were able to walk around a 20 block area from the hotel which included places like One Times Square building, Carnegie Hall, Fifth Street and Broadway theaters, Madison Square Gardens, Trump Towers, and much more. We had some very good meals in several restaurants in the area.

The next morning (Tuesday) we had gotten dressed (in my class A uniform) early to attend a funeral of a firefighter from the Bronx. Traffic was so congested that day around The United Nations (because the President was to be in town), the Fire Family Transportation Foundation of FDNY provided ride did not arrive at our hotel until time for the service to start so we did not go. We were in Manhattan some distance from the Bronx and the funeral.

In our hotel room we could look out the corner room and see all around both sides of where we were staying. We could see Central Park at the end of 7th Avenue, see the Hudson River to the West, see all of the Times Square area and several new buildings being built along with the other buildings that were much taller than our hotel of 40 stories.

On the morning of September 11th we had gotten up at 5:15 AM so we would be ready for our ride at 7:30 AM to Ground Zero with the family of FDNY Fallen Firefighter Michael Roberts. After just getting up we heard some sounds that we thought was coming from our radio. Then we realized it was from outside and we opened the window to see and hear the FDNY Bagpipe and Drum Band marching down the street below our room making their way from each of the five boroughs of NYC to the World Trade Center area for the Memorial Service we were to attend later that morning. Still dark plus mixed with the bagpipe & drum sounds it was rather errie and very moving knowing what had been going-on throughout the night. I could not help but have my eyes tear-up.

Later after meeting with the News and Observer (Raleigh & NC state newspaper) writer and photographer, we boarded the van (one of four passenger vans given by NC) to join with the Robert’s family and be driven by Pat Concannon to Ground Zero for the service. Security was very tight in all of Manhattan and particularly around Ground Zero, but Pat knew just how to get through all the stopped traffic going to Ground Zero and we arrived without any trouble. Agents with machine guns, FBI, NY State Patrol, Port Authority Police and NYPD Police, etc. were all there. When we arrived we had to secure the passes needed to enter as friends of the Robert’s family. To get them it took Andy Woodall around several city blocks (blocked by the crowds and police barricades) some 30 minutes time to get our passes. We moved into the large crowd in the reserved family section and stood with the all families for the service (over two hours) while poems and readings were delivered there by children and friends, also all the names were read over the PA system while live string, flute, guitar music was played. After this ended we went with the family down the ramp and into “The Pit” to place flowers (provided everyone by the florists of NYC) at the temporary Memorial set up in the area beyond the ramp into the 8 story cavity of the excavated basement of WTC tower 1 and 2. Flowers and pictures of those who died were everywhere.

The wind from the tropical storm blew so very hard that during the service and the placement of flowers, the sand from The Pit dirt floor blew all over everyone, getting into our eyes, ears, hair and clothes. It was rather uncomfortable! I thought, however, should this not be an uncomfortable time, considering what had happened there a year ago. Also, while viewing the wind-driven sand and dust rising from the 16 acre area it brought to mind the presences of The Holy Spirit and the rising of Souls from this death hole of hate. “Death where is thy grave?”

Afterwards, Theresa and I were interview by Channel 5 of Raleigh just before we loaded up the van with the family and traveled to Breezy Point, NY, across the Hudson River (I think) overlooking the NYC skyline. The Robert’s family had asked us to join them for lunch at their 2nd home there on the point, which we did joined by several FDNY firefighters and friends of their son Michael. What a beautiful place and a wonderful view. The family brought in Italian sandwiches and all the trimmings. We really enjoyed this and where warmly welcomed into their home by all. This was very special and the family had so many remembrances placed all over the home that was sent/given from all over the USA including the NC Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation Wall Sculpture given to all (343) families of the WTC Fallen FDNY firefighters. The Robert’s Wall Sculpture had been place just above the kitchen cabinets where the dishes were washed in the sink each day. Also moving!

From the Robert’s home Pat and Terri Concannon, our host and hostess while we were in NYC, took us to a Memorial made of two heavy steel WTC “I-Beams” found in the rubble of the WTC in the shape of a Christian Cross (one cross piece very fragmented at the end as it had been found in the wreckage). On the surface of the front and back of the cross had been placed the numbers . . . 9.11.01. . . in welded steel to mark the historic event for children and their children’s children to remember what had happened on that tragic day. Pat, a retired FDNY firefighter, now has his own company and equipment to raze houses and dig footings for new homes. After so much time spent helping at Ground Zero, Pat had been given this very heavy I-Beam in the shape of a “cross.” He was able to take it to Breeze Point and with the help of neighbors erected this “cross” in 6 feet of concrete. With help from friends on the Point a nice boardwalk from the road to the memorial “cross” where the cross stands near the sound side shore overlooking the distant view of where the WTC towers once stood. While he and others were placing the cross in cement, children from the community brought coins of money they had gathered, one for each person that died on 9/11/01.

While we were there a priest from a small Catholic Church on the point saw us and walked out to the memorial to meet us. After introductions, we requested of him to have a memorial prayer while we joined hands in a circle. Again tears filled my eyes. Very moving!

That evening we were the guest of the Concannon’s for dinner in a Manhattan Italian restaurant. We really had great food and though we tried to eat all we could from the family style service we had, a large boxed takeout was prepared and taken to a fire station for the firefighters to enjoy later that evening. However before leaving the restaurant, Pat had finally talked Andy Woodall (with the help of several other diners in the restaurant) into doing his Elvis impersonation for the full large crowd. So, after awhile, he sang “You Ain’t Nothing But A Houndog.” Afterwards leaving the restaurant, we were taken to our hotel room for the evening. On the next morning we had breakfast in the Hotel Lobby Coffee Shop and took our yellow taxi to NYC Penn Station for our 11 hour trip home to Raleigh. Great to be home, but so much better to have had the privilege to go and share in the meaningful events with these special people.

I was so very glad Theresa could go with me this time. On my previous trip in the Spring, I came home unable to really describe what I had experienced in New York City with the FDNY firefighters. I think she understands now. Very meaningful indeed!

I hope this will help you have a better feel for what has taken place in New York City with FDNY and the families there if you have not been able to go yourself. This was my second trip after going in the spring. If you would like to talk further with me about my trips, please e-mail and I will respond. God Speed in your work as an emergency worker for our state and pray for God’s protection and good judgment each day you go into harms way.


Gene W. Moore, Board Member/Chaplain
Director of Chaplaincy
North Carolina Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation

9/19/2002 Hometown Heroes Survivor Benefit Act

The Hometown Heroes Survivor Benefit Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge would extend the current Public Safety Officer Benefits Program to public safety officers, including police officers, firefighters, EMS workers and other first responders, who die of heart attacks or strokes. Due to a technicality in the current law, the families of these hometown heroes who give their lives to keep our communities safe are denied benefits.

WHAT: Rally Supporting Rep. Etheridge’s Hometown – Heroes Survivor Benefit Act

WHEN: Monday, September 23, 2002 at 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Raleigh Fire Station #1, 220 South Dawson Street in downtown Raleigh


DATE: September 5, 2002 Cell: (919) 523-4718
Contact: Sara Yawn Phone: (202) 226-7855

As 9/11 Anniversary Approaches, Etheridge Launches Legislation to Honor Firefighters, First Responders

WASHINGTON – As Congress and the nation prepare to mark the anniversary of 9/11, U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-Lillington) today introduced the Hometown Heroes Survivor Benefit Act. This legislation is rooted in North Carolina, born out of a letter written to Etheridge by a concerned constituent. The legislation would extend the current Public Safety Officer Benefits Program to public safety officers, including police officers, firefighters, EMS workers and other first responders, who die of heart attacks or strokes while on duty. Heart attacks and strokes represent a significant risk among public safety officers, accounting for nearly half of firefighter deaths each year.

“In North Carolina, we know that our hometown heroes, our firefighters, our police officers, our first responders, keep our families and our communities safe,” Etheridge said. “This legislation is just one small step towards making sure that our first responders and their families are taken care of for the courageous and dangerous work they do every day. I am proud that we are introducing this legislation less than a week before the anniversary of 9/11 in honor and memory of all the firefighters, police officers and first responders who lost their lives.”

Mike Williams of Bunnlevel, who works in the Office of State Fire Marshal Jim Long in the N.C. Department of Insurance as a Fire/Rescue Training Specialist and as the Assistant Chief of Flat Branch Volunteer Fire Department, wrote to Etheridge and spurred the legislation. “I wrote to Congressman Etheridge because I was frustrated by a system that let my friends and colleagues down time and again,” Williams said. “These firefighters give their time and energy, and sometimes their lives, for our safety. Their families deserve this benefit for their many sacrifices.”

The Public Safety Officers Benefits Program currently provides financial assistance to families of public safety officers (police, fire and EMS) killed in the line of duty, as well as to officers permanently disabled while on the job. The death benefit is payable to the survivors of a public safety officer who “has died as the direct and proximate result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty.” Unfortunately, in almost every incidence of death by heart attack or stroke, it is ruled that the heart attack or stroke was not a direct result of an injury sustained in the line of duty and the family receives no benefits even though the deaths were clearly triggered by the rigors of the job. The Etheridge bill would correct that deficiency in the law.

“September 11th has served as a vivid reminder of the sacrifices made by our public safety officers every day,” said Rep. Hoyer (D-MD), co-chariman of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “This legislation says we do recognize that stress and strain pose a serious threat to our police and firefighters, and that should they succumb to them while serving their communities, we promise to provide for their families during their time of greatest need.”

The Hometown Heroes Survivor Benefits Act of 2002

The following is a brief legislative summary of the Hometown Heroes Survivor Benefits Act of 2002.

The Public Safety Officers Benefit Under Current Law:

  • Provides financial assistance to the survivors of public safety officers (including police officers, firefighters and EMS workers) killed in the line of duty, as well as to officers permanently disabled while on the job.
  • Assists the survivors of a public safety officer who “has died as the direct and proximate result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty” with a one-time death benefit payment (currently about $250,000), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice.


  • Makes it difficult for families of public safety officers who die of a heart attack or stroke to qualify for benefits. Surviving families must go to great lengths to overcome the burden of proof and prove that the heart attack or stroke was “direct and proximate result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty” to do so.

The Hometown Heroes Survivor Benefits Act of 2002

  • Allows the families of public safety officers who have died from a heart attack or stroke while on duty to receive the public safety officer benefit.
  • Provides this benefit to firefighters who die within 24 hours of “participating in a training exercise or responding to an emergency situation.”
  • Presumes that a public safety officer who suffers a fatal heart attack or stroke, while on duty or within the 24-hour timeline, died as the direct and proximate result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty.
  • Costs approximately $13 million per year.

8/29/2002 FDNY and NCFFF Dinner

Sweating slightly in his dress uniform, Capt. Andy Woodall raced from table to table Saturday evening in the dining hall at Hayes-Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh checking on the candles and programs. He had no idea there were so many details to a banquet; he gave a final glance over the room, then to the far corner. There on a table sat a sculpture, a model of a much larger piece that Woodall aimed to see established one day under the oaks of Nash Square, to honor every firefighter in North Carolina who died in the line of duty. He had worked almost nonstop for that sculpture and traveled all over the state for it. In the past year, it also had taken him to New York City. Now, the friends he’d made there were in Raleigh, for the banquet, and they had brought gifts for the sculpture. Not just gifts — Woodall thought of them as holy things.

Outside, the four men from the Fire Department of New York slipped into their dark blue jackets to pose for pictures. Then Woodall escorted them into the dining hall. The gifts were in their van. They would come in later, and Woodall couldn’t wait to see them.

Suddenly, a cause

After 23 years with the Raleigh Fire Department, Woodall had toyed with retirement. He was married with three grown children, he was not yet 50, and he had a sideline in construction plus the occasional gig as an Elvis impersonator. But he wasn’t leaving. He loved his job. He woke up every morning excited to go to work.

When he first heard of the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial Foundation, he suddenly had a cause.

Twenty-eight states have memorials to fallen firefighters; the national site in Emmitsburg, Md., keeps an eternal flame. In early 2000 North Carolina set up the foundation to build one, too, and Woodall signed up to help raise the money. He met the memorial’s sculptor, Carl Regutti of Cary, and marveled over the model that was finished that summer.

A firefighter’s death in the line of duty most often occurs in a structure collapse.

So Regutti created a scene in which an I-beam has dropped on a firefighter, who lies wounded, grimacing. Another firefighter pulls the beam away, a third wields a hose, the fourth cradles the injured brother’s head.

The city donated a slice of Nash Square across Dawson Street from the Raleigh Fire Department’s headquarters station. The Sears Design Group donated its services.

But the memorial foundation needed at least $250,000. Whenever he gave a speech for it, Woodall also sold T-shirts, denim work shirts, caps, and knives carrying the foundation’s seal.

A particularly popular item, even at $150, was a miniature version of the memorial, about 14 inches high and 9 inches across at the base. Regutti called it a “wall relief.” Carolina Castings, in High Point, made them with a mixture of resin and crushed marble. Still, raising money was slow going.

Then, on a late-summer morning under a cloudless sky, the burning Twin Towers collapsed and killed more than 2,800 people. Among them were 343 New York firefighters and three retirees who responded, an unprecedented devastation to the brotherhood.


Like firefighters everywhere, Woodall wanted to drive north all night. But when he called, the Fire Department of New York surprised him with their request: The brothers said their grieving, frightened families needed help, not so much money but — solace.

On his own, Woodall went on a scouting mission to New York in October. At the last minute, he packed one of the wall reliefs.

New York firefighters took him in, showed him around and presented him to one of the battalion commanders for the recovery operation. The man was exhausted, wounded in spirit, but he welcomed the brother from North Carolina. Woodall presented the wall relief and explained what it stood for.

The commander took it in his hands. A long moment passed. Finally, he said Woodall couldn’t show it to anyone. It would be too much. But when Woodall reached out to collect it, the commander said: Leave it here.

A month later, Woodall heard from Mike Goldman at Carolina Castings, who had an idea. His company couldn’t write a big check. But it could make a wall relief for the family of every New York firefighter who died that morning. Goldman would contribute the materials; his employees wanted to work weekends for the manufacture. Mort’s Trophies in Raleigh donated small brass plates inscribed with the firefighter’s name and engine or ladder company.

Carolina Castings delivered 346 wall reliefs to Raleigh’s headquarters station, and in early March, firefighters and civilians prepared the reliefs for delivery, affixing the brass plates on the front, gluing felt to the base and applying silver stickers on back, where an amateur calligrapher wrote the dead firefighter’s badge number. Regutti signed each one.

At last, a team grouped the reliefs for Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. Woodall called the FDNY and said about a dozen North Carolina firefighters were coming north.

They drove to Engine 283 in Brooklyn. The next day, one battalion commander after another arrived on a fire engine to collect the reliefs for his borough. They didn’t talk much. Their faces said everything.

Woodall handed out a few reliefs himself, one to a firefighter whose father was the FDNY chief. The family members cradled the gift and ran their fingers over it. A mother told him she could see her son in it.

More North Carolina firefighters arrived to deliver other donations, and Woodall met with them. Their professional curiosity about the recovery was satisfied when their New York brothers took them at night to the FDNY’s tower built high over the pit, bathed in the light of floodlamps. The alien vista struck them silent.

On the way down, the visitors stopped into the command post, and a battalion commander turned in his chair. He saw Woodall — don’t I know you?

As soon as Woodall said the words “wall relief,” the battalion commander leaped to his feet to pump Woodall’s hand. The firefighters talked about the pit, and then news arrived. A brother’s body had been found.

The North Carolinians kept a vigil as rescuers discovered a second firefighter’s body, then another and another. Then the body of a New York City police officer. Of a Port Authority police officer. Of two civilians.

The battalion commander invited the North Carolinians to join the ritual honor guard for the departure of the dead. Woodall stood on the road out of the pit and snapped a salute.

Not until the ceremony was over did he realize that his tears had soaked his shirt through.

The March trip pushed Woodall to quit his construction job and cut back on his Elvis gigs. When he didn’t work at Station 14 near Rex Hospital, he raised money for the memorial.

One day he got a call from one of his new brothers in New York. He and a few other guys wanted to come down to North Carolina and thank everyone.

And they wanted to bring some gifts.

They set a date: Saturday, Aug. 24, and Hayes-Barton Baptist Church opened its dining hall to Woodall and the foundation. Barry’s Cafe in Swift Creek, a favorite place for area firefighters, committed to catering a steak dinner.

When everyone had gathered in the church’s dining hall, Woodall went to the front to announce the arrival of the special guests: Pat Concannon, James Silecchia, Dennis Blake and Kiernan Burke of the FDNY.

Woodall turned over the lectern to Concannon, who first gave thanks for the outpouring for the FDNY and its families. In return, he said, “We brought some things for your memorial. We know this memorial is very, very important. We can never undo 9/11, but God help us if we ever forget. So for your memorial, we wanted to bring something that’s really priceless.”

Everyone turned to the rear of the banquet hall.

An honor guard of five Sampson County firefighters came in. Four strained with the load of an 18-inch length of rusty I-beam. The other brought in what Concannon called a hook, a firefighting tool with a metal head, like a giant fireplace poker. Its wooden handle was cracked but not broken. The two gifts had been rescued from the chaos of the pit.

Woodall’s next task was to find a place to keep the gifts safe. One day, they would be cast in bronze, then incorporated into the North Carolina memorial.

At last, the chaplain offered the prayer, and dinner was served. Afterward, Woodall shed his dress uniform for a jumpsuit and a dark wig, and he sang like Elvis.

By ANNE SAKER, N&O Staff Writer
Photos by Chad Simon

8/22/2002 North Carolina Chief Killed at Accident Scene
Firehouse.com reports the following…….

North Carolina Chief Killed at Accident Scene

Firehouse.Com News

John Moore, 42, Chief of Ellerbe Rescue, Inc. in Richmond County, NC was killed Monday, August 19, when he was struck by a vehicle while assisting an accident victim.

Moore was the first responder to a single car accident on U.S. Highway 220 one-mile north of Ellerbe when a car ran off the road and hit a guardrail during a rainstorm. According the NC Highway Patrol Trooper John C. Edwards, Moore positioned his personal vehicle with its bar lights between the road and the car in the accident.

A southbound tractor-trailer coming around a slight curve and downhill grade applied its brakes and first struck a northbound car. It then left the road and struck the car in the initial accident that struck the driver and Moore.

Moore was transported to Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the initial accident vehicle was thrown over a guardrail he was transported to Richmond Memorial but his condition was unknown.

Trooper Edwards said the driver of the northbound and an infant were transported to another hospital, treated and released.

The truck driver was not transported. Trooper Edwards said he has been charged with Misdemeanor Death by Motor Vehicle.

Ellerbe Rescue, Inc. runs BLS and rescue calls with about 20 volunteer members and responded to the scene along with the Ellerbe Fire Department.

Visitation and Funeral Information:

Visitation will be Wednesday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Carter Funeral Home in Ellerbe.

The funeral will be held Thursday, 2 p.m. at the Exway Baptist Church, 2119 County Line Road, Mount Gilead, seven miles west of Ellerbe.

8/7/2002 FDNY Gives Back to North Carolina
FDNY will be back to North Carolina to show its support for this NC Fallen Firefighters. A van retired from service by the FDNY will be presented to NCFFF and both will be holding a joint fundraiser dinner. It will be held at Hayes Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh on Aug. 24,2002 at 6:00 P.M. The cost is $50.00 per person. Several firefighters from New York will be coming down bringing a van, tools found in the World Trade Center and some steel. The menu for the meal will be prime ribeye steak and chicken breast, bake potatoes and cream potatoes, toss salad, pasta salad, hordivors and desserts. Beverages will be sweet tea, unsweet tea, soft drinks and bottled water. To reserve your space to this limited event call toll free 1-877-810-1800 or local to Raleigh 1-919-834-1800.
8/7/2002 The Golf Tournament scheduled for August 12th has been cancelled.
The Golf Tournament scheduled for August 12th has been cancelled. Please check back for future events.
8/4/2002 See the Pictures of the 1st Memorial Sculpture Unveiled.

Check out the 1st Memorial Sculpture Unveiled.

8/4/2002 New Pictures added for Blazin Wheels 2002
Check out the new pictures from Blazin Wheels 2002. Click here to see the pictures.
8/4/2002 Colors Drawings of Memorial Concept Posted
New concept drawings have been added to the website. They are in color and show the scale and location layout of the memorial. Check them out by clicking here.
7/29/2002 Send-Off of Phase 1 Planned
What:Send-Off of Phase 1 Planned
When: July 31, 20002
Where: Cary Fire Station #1
Time: 9:00am

The first sculpture for the memorial is finished and will be sent off to the casting company. This is it’s first public presentation.

 Post Colors
 Opening Prayer
 Brief History
 Commissioner Jim Long, Opening Speaker, NC State Fire Marshall
 Mayor Glen Lang, Speaker, Town of Cary
 Chief Wayne House, Closing Speaker, Town of Cary FD
 Sculptor Carl Regutti Discusses the Process
 Send Off Ceremony

7/20/2002 Blazin Wheels 2002 Pictures Posted
Check out the pictures from Blazin Wheels 2002. Estimated attendance throughout the course of the day is 1,800-2,000 people.

Click here to see the pictures.

A special thanks to We Do Trucks, Southern Edge, Ride Captains, and all those who participated to make this event such a success.

6/25/2002 Charity Golf Tournament
Monday August 12, 2002

The North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation will hold two golf tournaments to raise money for a statewide memorial to honor firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty. The tournament will be held on August 12th at Brier Creek Country Club in Raleigh, NC. The cost is $100 per person and will include cart, green fees, food, drinks and a party following the event.

August 12th
Shotgun Start

From Raleigh:
Travel West on I-40 to I-540. From I-540 take Lumley Road exit. Turn Left on Lumley Road and drive straight into Brier Creek.

From Durham:
Travel East on I-40 to I-540. From I-540 take Lumley Road exit. Turn Left on Lumley Road and drive straight into Brier Creek.

Mike Johnson
Brier Creek Country Club
(919) 206-GOLF (4653)

6/14/2002 Volunteer Fire Department Medic Killed In Sampson County Wreck
CLINTON, N.C. — A medic with a Sampson County volunteer fire department was killed in a wreck while responding to a fire call Thursday night. Bridgett Autrey, 18, a two-year member of the Herring Volunteer Fire department, died in the single-vehicle wreck. Officials said the wreck happened on Rabbit Street, just east of State Road 1335, nine miles north of Clinton. Officials said two minutes after leaving the fire station, Autrey lost control of the department’s 1993 Chevrolet Blazer. They said she drove left of the center line and hit a ditch, struck a barn and flipped the vehicle several times in a field before being ejected from the vehicle. “Her main goal in life was to help everybody in this community,” said Capt. Ronald Ellis of the Herring Volunteer Fire Department. “Her medical field showed that she was interested in helping others.” Autrey was pronounced dead at Sampson County Regional Medical Center in Clinton. Chief Shannon Naylor said Autrey served as a role model for others. “She will be greatly missed. She was one of the most dedicated people we had in the department. Words cannot even describe how we feel right now,” he said. Her co-workers said Autrey was never reckless and that her main goal was to help others. Reporter: Shani Blount WRAL TV
6/5/2002 Firefighters Injured as Aerial Falls at North Carolina Fire Scene

Two Cary, North Carolina firefighters sustained minor injuries Tuesday when their ladder truck suddenly collapsed at the scene of a structure fire.

The ladder truck and crew performing fire operations moments before it fell.

“We have a lot of confidence in the apparatus we purchase. We inspect it annually,” said Cary PIO Susan Moran. “Obviously everybody was shocked at what happened.”

Firefighters had responded to a blaze at the Garden Supply Company on Old Apex Road at about 3 p.m. and found the roof heavily involved.

They parked their ladder truck, a Pierce manufactured in August 1999, on the road in front of the burning building. The structure sat above them on a hill.

“The ladder was being extended over the hill,” Moran said. “Just before it got over the building the ladder collapsed and fell to the ground.”

The two firefighters in the basket were dropped 8-12 feet down to the parking lot. Officials said the unit was a 1999 Pierce 105′ aerial with a sky arm.

They were conscious and alert after the accident, and walked over to the rescue squad on their own, Moran said. However, they were taken to Western Wake Medical Center for observation.

Moran said other people had been standing under the ladder moments before it fell, but luckily moved just in time. No one else was injured.

Officials have yet to determine the cause of the collapse.

Two supports that that hold the ladder to the turret simply crumpled, Moran said.

Pierce officials were flying out to investigate the scene early Wednesday, she said.

The area around the aerial is roped off with fire line tape. The unit is one of two aerial platforms the Town of Cary operates.

Although the Cary Fire Department has another Pierce ladder truck, it has a different configuration so they aren’t going to pull it out of service, Moran said.

She added that firefighting efforts were not hindered after the ladder truck collapse because of the strong mutual aid on scene from the Apex, Morrisville, Western Wake and Fairview Fire Departments.

The fire was brought under control before 4 p.m. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

About the Cary, NC Fire Department:

The Cary Fire/Rescue Department provides fire suppression, emergency medical service in a first responder capacity, and technical rescue within the Town’s corporate limits. The department will also, upon request, provide mutual-aid with surrounding departments.

The Staff work at six fire stations located throughout the town. They are organized into three rotating shifts that provide 24-hour coverage.

The Cary Fire/Rescue provides fire suppression for the town utilizing six fire stations. Firefighting is performed using six engines, two aerial platforms, three truck companies, two rescue companies and a brush truck.

6/4/2002 First phase of Memorial’s center piece sculpture nears completion
The first phase of the building of the memorial’s center piece sculpture is nearing completion. Click below to take a peek at some of it’s detail. Within the next 1-2 months the next sculpture will be started. Thanks for you continued support.


5/23/2002 National Memorial Service to Honor Fallen Firefighters
Emmitsburg, MD – The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation today announced that the Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service honoring firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2001 will be held in Washington, DC, on Sunday, October 6, 2002, at the MCI Center.

“The unprecedented number of firefighters being honored this year will necessitate our moving the memorial service from the site of the National Fallen Firefighters Monument in Emmitsburg,” stated Foundation Chairman Hal Bruno. “The loss of every firefighter is a national tragedy and this year’s service will honor those who died at the World Trade Center along with those who made the ultimate sacrifice across the country.”

Families of the fallen firefighters and fire and emergency service leaders will join federal, state, and local government officials in this year’s tribute and other events honoring the fallen fire heroes and their survivors. One day will be set aside for family activities. Sunday will feature honor guard parades, remembrances of our lost heroes and special tributes during the public memorial service. Thousands are expected to join in America’s day of tribute to the fallen fire heroes.

The Foundation will release additional details on the Memorial Service and related events as soon as the plans are finalized.

4/24/2002 Prayers needed for Roxboro Fire Family
Tuesday evening Roxboro Fire Department Captain Chris Robinson’s 11 year old daughter was run over by a car in her church parking lot. She was transported to Person Memorial and then picked up by LifeFlight and transferred to Duke Hospital where she is listed in critical condition with a head injury.

Please keep Captain Robinson’s family in your prayers as they stand beside there daughter while she fights for her life. As we get updates I will pass them along to everyone.

4/11/2002 Greensboro Firefighters Dies After Trainining Exercise

Fallen Firefighter Escorted Home

Web Producer: Erin Fletcher Modified: 4/11/2002

Greensboro Interstate traffic paused in tribute as fire trucks staked out Piedmont overpasses, to honor a fallen firefighter.

Captain William “Jackie” Beard died of a heart attack Wednesday during a training exercise.

Thursday afternoon firefighters from most every department in Guilford and Alamance counties escorted him home from the State Medical examiners office in Chapel Hill.

Those not in the procession manned bridges and overpasses as the trucks came through, showing their support.

Greensboro firefighter Captain Wayne Arnold says, “We’ve taken on a whole new meaning since 9-11 and when something happens to one of our brother firefighters we just want to stand out and show our respect for him.”

Whitsett Fire Department’s Deputy Chief Billy Combs also works for Greensboro. He served in the same company as Jackie for nearly a year and a half.

Combs says he’ll be very hard to replace. “Jackie, when he walked up to anyone he had a smile on his face it was just like bringing sunshine into a room.”

Firefighters escorted Captain Beard to the Hayworth Miller funeral home in Kernersville.

Viewing will be held at the funeral home Friday night from 6-9. The funeral is scheduled for Saturday at 2pm.

WFMY News2


DWAYNE SCOTT Story Courtesy of WFMY News2

GREENSBORO, NC — Greensboro firefighters have lost a friend and colleague after a routine training session turns deadly.

Firefighters were battling a controlled burn at a home on Church Street as part of a training exercise Wednesday morning.

After it was over, 30 year veteran, Captain William “Jackie” Beard suffered what investigators are calling a heart attack.

He died shortly after.

One may think with all the danger fire fighters have to face everyday that injuries on the job would be their main concern.

But the fact is, heart attack is the leading cause of death among firefighters.

The Greensboro Fire Department is taking measures to improve the lifestyles of its firefighters.

Just three weeks ago, all the firemen were given physicals to prepare them for a new physical fitness program.

4/7/2002 Honoring the Sacrifice – NCFFF and FDNY

Before September 11, 2001, I don’t think we realized the open hearted, giving nature of the American people and the blessings that come to us when we share with others in a time when needs are so great.

After September 11, 2001, several projects were started by firefighters and citizens of North Carolina to aid in the recovery from the tragedy. The North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation, the NC State Firemen’s Association and the NC Office of State Fire Marshal, led by Commissioner Jim Long, started the Fallen FDNY Fund that would be used to address special needs of firefighters and families victimized by the terrorist attack. During this time, firefighters hit the streets with a “Fill The Boot Campaign”. The citizens of this great state came through like gangbusters, sending over 1.7 million dollars to the FDNY 9-11 Fund. The North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation had been raising funds to build a memorial for North Carolina firefighters who have died in the line of duty. Carl Regutti, the artist designing and building the memorial, had created a wall relief sculpture that was mass-produced for sale to generate funds for building the memorial. These works of art were made ready for production in December of 2000. At the end of September 2001, Carolina Casting Corp., the company producing the wall sculpture, asked the NC Fallen Firefighters Foundation if we could join forces and donate one to every family who lost a firefighter in the September 11 attack. They donated the casting and painting. The artist donated the artwork. Mort’s Trophies donated the nameplates and North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation donated their time in organizing the assembly and delivery to New York.

On March 2, 2002, a community day was held at the central fire station in downtown Raleigh. The nameplates were attached and labels with the firefighters’ badge numbers were placed on the backs of the sculptures. During these months, funds were continuing to be raised for the Fallen FDNY Fund. Lots of research went into finding out the most special needs of the firefighters and families. In our search, we discovered the New York Fire Family Transport Foundation. Since 1993, this organization has been responsible for taking families of fallen or burned firefighters to memorials or to the burn center. Since September 11, the demand for their services has grown well past their capability. The Ford Motor Company stepped in and loaned them 3 passenger vans. No donation of any kind had been given to this overwhelmed organization except for the loan of the vans. When we discovered this need and the need of a depleted Thomas ElSassor Widows and Children Fund, our mission was clear. Through the efforts of the citizens and firefighters of North Carolina, we were able to purchase 4 passenger vans for the NY Fire Family Transport Foundation and give nearly half a million dollars more to the widows and children.

On March 20, 2002, firefighters from different parts of the state started the journey to New York to take the wall relief sculptures. The passenger vans would follow two days later. The trip was amazing. We delivered wall sculptures to the different fire divisions and we were also able to deliver some to the actual family members. I personally gave Chief Pete Ganci’s son the one made especially for him. Once the wall sculptures were delivered, we went to ground zero. Watching the huge earthmovers gently scoop up small pieces of the rubble and gingerly spread it out, looking for any evidence of human remains, was heart wrenching to say the least. After this, Chaplain Gene Moore (the chaplain for the NC Fallen Firefighters Foundation) and I said our good-byes to the other firefighters coming back to North Carolina. We were taken back to Engine 283 Station where we had been staying. The other firefighters had been staying in different firehouses throughout the Brooklyn area.

On March 22, Pat Concannon, president of the NY Fire Family Transport Foundation, and I went to meet the men bringing the vans up. Once the vans were in, we took them to Ladder 129 for the dedication ceremony. The vans were officially turned over to the foundation around 3 P.M and there was an outstanding meal prepared for us. The firefighters were warm and friendly and very excited that we were there. We shared war stories for several hours. Around 7 P.M., we started getting ready to take this group to ground zero. Little did I know the life-changing experiences that were to follow. We arrived at ground zero about 9 P.M. The firehouse known as 10-10 Station has been shut down since September 11 because it’s so close to the site that it can’t be used. It has been turned into a rehab area for the workers and firefighters. A viewing stand has been set up on top of this station for guests of the fire service. After viewing the site from the rooftop, we went back down and were allowed to go into the West Side Command Center. Once inside, I was astonished to see Battalion Chief Charles Williams again. He was the first firefighter I had met in October when I went to New York to show them a wall sculpture and investigate their needs. Knowing I was a firefighter, he greeted me with a hug and thanked me for coming. I could tell that he had been through hell. Choking back tears, he talked with me for 30-45 minutes. With his clothes sooty and somewhat tattered, he told me that they were still looking frantically for any signs of survival. He hailed a police officer to take us down to the mayor’s office. We said our good-byes, shook hands, hugged and shared our hopes that we would see each other again.

Well, here he was! He remembered me, but at first he didn’t know from where. As I reminded him of our first meeting, he remembered and shook my hand and said, “You’ll have to pardon me but we’ve just found another one of our guys”. We asked if we could stay, out of respect, until they brought the man out. He thought that would be great. We waited for quite some time and noticed a lot of activity down in the hole. We saw more stretchers going in, being filled and U.S. flags being draped over each one. It seemed like time was standing still and by 12:30 A.M., the chief advised that 4 firefighters, 1 police officer, 1 Port Authority police officer and 2 civilians had been found. Pat Concannon and I asked if there was going to be an official honor guard. He said there was and asked if we would like to participate in it. According to Pat, no one outside of New York has ever been allowed to participate. So about 1 A.M., we stood on the ramp going down into this pit of death waiting for this historic event to unfold. There we were, Chaplain Moore on my right, Kevin Shea (the firefighter who lost his whole company and was almost killed himself…and a great personal friend of mine) on my left and the top officials with the NC Office of State Fire Marshal and the NC State Firemen’s Association spread out all along the ramp between New York firefighters and police officers. Over a loud intercom, the call came, “Attention, uncover, salute”. Slowly, with the greatest of honor and respect, Father Patrick and Battalion Chief Charles Williams led as 24 firefighters carried their 4 fallen brothers out of this pit of horror on the first leg of their journey to their final resting place. As they marched by me, a burst of emotion welled up inside me and I felt confirmation that all the efforts we are making to build a memorial for North Carolina fallen firefighters are well worth the struggles we have encountered. You could have heard a pin drop as they walked by. I couldn’t contain my emotions as tears streamed down my face. Once the fallen firefighters were out, the call came, “At ease”. Then it started all over again as they brought the fallen police officers and civilians out. When it was over, Kevin and I hugged and then firefighter after firefighter and police embraced each other in this moment of reverent history.

The officials with the NC State Firemen’s Association and the NC Office of State Fire Marshal decided to make the trek back to North Carolina instead of spending the night. It was about 2:30 or 3:00 A.M. and everyone was so wired with excitement and honor that they couldn’t sleep anyway. So the Fire Family Transport took them back to the firehouse where their own vehicles were and they headed back. Chaplain Gene Moore and I went back to Engine 283 Firehouse to take a short nap. This was early Saturday morning and we had to be in Manhattan at 10:00 A.M. for Father Mychal Judge’s official memorial service. After the service, they were going across Third Street to bless the vans and the efforts of the North Carolina citizens and firefighters. We were late and didn’t arrive until 11:00 A.M at Saint Francis of Assisi. As we walked in, a song that an Irish group had written for Father Mychal was playing and we sat near the rear. When the song was over, Father Patrick said, “I have just seen the firefighters arrive. Will you please come forward?” I was sitting on the end so I was the first firefighter to get to the altar. Father Patrick and I shared greetings and he said, “Aren’t you one of the firefighters from North Carolina?” I replied, “Yes, sir”. He said, “I would like you to come forward and share with us the reason for your trip and the gifts you bring and how it would relate to Father Mychal Judge”.

I stood there in disbelief that I was actually speaking at the official memorial service of Father Mychal Judge. I shared with them about all the efforts that had been made by our great state. I explained how the bond has strengthened among the fire service across the entire country and how Father Mychal had promoted unity among his firefighting family throughout his entire career. I think he would be delighted to see the strength and unity that his efforts have created.

At this time, I asked Chaplain Moore to say a few words. He echoed the same sentiments and added that he could only hope to someday be able to mirror the ability that Father Mychal had to bring peace to the hearts of so many.

Pat Concannon was the last to speak and invited everyone to go across the street for the blessing of the vans and the endeavors of the firefighters and citizens of North Carolina. Once inside the firehouse, Chaplain Moore approached me and said, “Pinch me. I can’t believe I just spoke at Father Mychal Judge’s memorial”. We both shared the awesome privilege of such an honor.

Father Patrick then began his speech of gratitude by saying what a privilege it was to be surrounded by people of like spirits and how generous the hearts must be that went to so much trouble to supply the needs of such a deserving foundation. At this point, he blessed the vans by sprinkling holy water on them. He then turned and saw the pictures of the firefighters from that firehouse who were lost and blessed their souls. He then asked Chaplain Moore to say a few words. Chaplain Moore, although a Protestant, also blessed the vans with holy water. Father Patrick then turned to me and asked how Protestants would normally perform a blessing. I explained to him that where I am from, we would lay hands on the person or object to be blessed. His reply was, “I believe that both ways work because what’s important is the heart behind the blessing”.

Out of all these experiences, the most amazing result is not only the closer bond among firefighters, police officers, emergency workers and citizens, but the unity of the church, no matter what denomination.

—-Capt. J.A. Woodall, Chief of Operations
North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation

4/7/2002 FDNY 9-11 Memorial Golf Classic
The members of the FDNY are hosting the FDNY 9-11 Memorial Golf Classic in Myrtle Beach.

We are holding this to thank the many firefighters and friends who supported us in our time of need.

JOIN US May 20 & 21


4/2/2002 Two Local Fires Force Evacuations
Twenty-one firefighters were rushed to a Sampson County hospital Sunday after being overcome by fumes.

The problem started at a barn fire in Clinton, near the intersection of Highways 421 and 701.

Sampson County Fire Marshal Ray Honrine said firefighters from the Taylors Bridge and Clinton fire departments responded to the fire on a small farm around 10:45 a.m. Sunday.

Firefighters had nearly extinguished the blaze when they noticed acrid fumes.

“The guys started complaining of not feeling well,” Honrine said.

As firefighters became ill, firefighters from other departments arrived to help. In addition, a Fayetteville-based Hazardous Materials team worked to control the fumes.

As the blaze burned, firefighters discovered that seven types of pesticides and herbicides were stored inside the barn.

Firefighters found quantities ranging from a pint to 20 pounds of pesticides and other farm chemicals such as Prowl, Offshoot T, Losban, Counter, Bicep, Ridomil and Rovaz, officials said.

Between 45 and 60 people were evacuated from homes within about a half-mile of the building, but they were allowed to return to their homes Sunday evening. One resident of the area also sought treatment at the hospital, neighbors said.

Sampson County Fire Marshal Ray Honrine said the firefighter was admitted to Sampson Regional Medical Center and was expected to stay overnight.

The firefighter admitted to the hospital worked for Taylors Bridge fire department, Honrine said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Firefighters from nine different stations also battled a fire at a downtown Sanford textile plant Sunday afternoon.

Flames broke out just after 2 p.m. at National Textiles.

Investigators say somehow bales of cotton caught fire. About 35 employees had to leave the building, but no one was hurt.

3/14/2002 A Personal Letter – Thank You Firefighters of Ayden
December 12, 2001 – Most of us still have September the 11th in the back of our minds. Many firefighters died in the line of duty trying to save other people’s lives. We have not forgotten, but we here, many miles away, though it was close, yet it far enough away, making it easier to continue on with our lives. As a spouse of a fire fighter, this is one time, in my heart that I am so thankful I live in a small town where my husband was not in the line of duty on that September day. He is safe here with our family.

I saw the look in his eyes as we watched the news over and over again. I saw the longing that he wanted to be in the middle helping and doing something. This is in his blood. You could tell, that at a drop of a hat, he would go and do what ever it took to be of service in any way he could. I saw the longing in his eyes, yet in my heart, I was so thankful that this was one time the call of duty was not his. I guess you could say this was selfishness on my part. We take for granted that our love ones will come home, when they leave out on a call. We take so much for granted that this happens somewhere else and not here. It only takes one second, one moment and it could just as easily be our love ones who laid down his or her life in the call of duty.

I stand proud up here, saying to each of you, that I am proud of our Fire fighters who “do” risk their lives each and every time they walk out of their doors in order to help someone else. Not always do they come home and say it was nothing, a fender bender or someone burning trash. Some times they come home and you can see the look in their eyes, this was not a good one. We lost someone, or maybe we don’t know if this person is going to make it or not. I have seen the stress, after a fatal crash, or the look of helplessness, as he came home and has found the body of the person who did not make it in a fire and often wonder, why would your put yourself through this torment?

You see, I have felt the excitement when that fire whistle would sound, or his pager would beep. There has been times when we were in a restaurant and his beeper would go off, us ladies would stay and ride together while our men would rush out to the call of duty. There has been a couple of times when I have had the honor of driving to the “call” and I must say, there is something about turning on the “red light” that made my foot push that pedal to the floor. This is when I came to realize that it had to be the “red lights” that caused these guys go so fast. I felt it when I turned that “red light” on. The excitement was there. For some reason, Bud does not let me drive to often to one of these calls. I can’t figure that one out!

But laying all that aside, I find myself feeling a sense of pride when he rushes out that door, wherever we might be, for I know in my heart, that whoever he is going to help, is in very good hands. I also know that this is not a game to him and that he takes this call of “duty” very seriously.

The giving and the caring is why each of these men and women are special people. I know I could not do what they do for it takes special people to perform this kind of service for their fellow man. I stand here proud to say “ Thank you” for all of your giving and caring that each and everyone of you give for our town, “Ayden”.

3/12/2002 See the Pictures from the Community Day – FDNY Wall Relief Assembly
From 10am to after 4pm on March 2, 2003 volunteers gathered to assemble over 300 Wall Reliefs for families of FDNY firefighters. It was a time of fellowship and cooperation with firefighters and individuals throughout the state. A mime group from Sallie B. Howard School for the Arts & Education in Wilson gave a brief program honoring the fallen firefighters. Barry Dole’s “Feed the Firefighters Foundation” provided food and light music. The Raleigh City Mayor and City Manager stopped by and helped in the assembly. A check was also presented to Sculptor Carl Regutti representing the first $25,000 down payment on the large sculptor to start the casting.

Check here to see the Pictures

3/7/2002 Memorial Service for Firefighter Joshua Brandon Earley
Memorial Service for Firefighter
Joshua Brandon Earley

The Earley family invites you to celebrate the life of Joshua Brandon Earley.

The family will receive visitors at Hartsell Funeral Home, located at 3575 Broadway in Midland, NC on Friday, March 8th, from 6:30 to 9:00 PM.

A memorial service will take place on Saturday, March 9th, at 2:00 PM at Hickory Grove Baptist Church, located at 6050 Hickory Grove Road in Charlotte.

Firefighters are encouraged to wear their uniforms as a symbol of unity in the fire service. Black mourning bands are appropriate and encouraged. Departments wishing to send honor guard units should contact Charlotte Fire Department Local 660 at 704-331-9515. The public is welcome to attend this memorial service. Please come and join this celebration of Josh’s life and career as a firefighter.

Please respect the family’s wishes for privacy and refrain from any telephone calls. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

Bethel United Methodist Church Building Fund Idlebrook Road Midland, NC 28107


Charlotte Fire Department Fallen Firefighter Fund Charlotte Fire Department Credit Union 2100 Commonwealth Avenue Charlotte, NC 28205

Messages of condolence may be sent to:

Charlotte Fire Department 228 East Ninth Street Charlotte, NC 28202 lfincher@ci.charlotte.nc.us

Harrisburg Fire Department 6450 Morehead Road Harrisburg, NC 28075 HVFDR1500@aol.com

All inquiries may be directed to the Charlotte Fire Department at 704-336-2791.

3/6/2002 Line of Duty Death Notification – Firefighter Josh Earley
The Foundation has been notified that firefighter Greg Early died this afternoon from injuries received while fighting a house fire just days ago. As we know more we will post it on the site. Our hearts go out to his family and close friends.

For more info on the house fire please check the news section of the website. March 6, 2002 2:35pm

By JIM GILCHRIEST / nbc6.com
Josh Earley, the Charlotte firefighter who was burned over 80 percent of his body while fighting a fire Monday, has died.

Early passed away at the burned center in Chapel Hill. He was 23.

The Charlotte Fire Department has ordered that all of their flags be lowered to half-staff.

Earley was injured when he fell through the first floor and into the fiery basement of a house in east Mecklenburg County.
Three other firefighters were injured when they rescued Earley from the flames.

Fire officials have said Early used textbook tactics in battling the fire, but they are now reviewing whether those tactics should be changed.

The fire, which started when flammables were placed too close to a wood burning stove, has been ruled accidental.

3/5/2002 FDNY Trip Planned To Distribute Wall Reliefs
On March 20th a group of North Carolina’s Firefighters will be departing for New York City. The purpose of this trip is to deliver the Wall Relief Sculptures, which were donated by North Carolina to the families of those firefighters killed during the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center.

The group will be leaving from Durham Fire Station #13 located on Miami Blvd north of I-40 at 5:00am.

If you would like to be a part of this group, please be prepared to stay until the 23rd or March.

Everyone is welcome!

For more information, please contact Andy Woodall at a.woodall@ncfff.org or (877) 810-1800

3/5/2002 Fund Raiser, Every Minute Counts
A unique fund raiser that will NOT cost you, but save you money!

We know you want to support us. We know you would if you could. We’ve joined forces with ProNet Communications, Inc. SO YOU CAN.

4.9 cents anytime State to State Flat Rate

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12.9 cents anytime Calling Card Rate State to State

All services 6 second billing, low $3.95 monthly fee, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

5% of every phone call made on this plan is donated to the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

We switched over you should too!

Paula R. McLamb Independent Representative Phone: (919) 553-7281 Toll Free: (877) 535-0640

3/5/2002 NC Firefighter Fights for His Life

Our hopes and wishes are with Josh Earely, his family and close friends. As we know more we will post it. Below are 3 articles takes from different media.

Four Injured in House Fire
NC Firefighter Fights for His Life Four Injured in House Fire
Wood-burning stove ignited blaze that injured firefighters

Tuesday, March 5, 2002
North Carolina Firefighter Fights for His Life Four Injured Battling Monday House Fire

AMY LEHTONEN Courtesy of NBC6 Charlotte

A Charlotte firefighter, remains in critical condition Tuesday morning with severe burns after he fell through a pit of flames battling a house fire in eastern Mecklenburg County Monday afternoon. Three other firefighters were injured trying to help him. Josh Earley, Charlotte firefighter who worked part-time at Harrisburg Fire & Rescue, suffered burns over 80 percent of his body.

Dale Griffin lives in 10,000 block Harrisburg Rd. and was at home when the fire started.

“I was upstairs. The phone rang and I was on the phone when I smelled smoke,” Griffin said. “I went downstairs and saw the fire.” Griffin said he called 911 for help. Heavy smoke and flames engulfed the home. “I tried to get a water hose to put it out but I couldn’t,” Griffin said. Harrisburg Fire & Rescue was the first to respond to the call. When firefighters arrived on scene, half of the home was engulfed in flames.

From the 6NEWS helicopter AirStar6, flames and heavy smoke were seen coming from the home.

“One of the first firefighters on scene was stretching a hose through heavy fire conditions when he literally fell into a basement full of flames,” said Rob Brisley, Charlotte Fire Department. “The firefighters right next to him literally pulled him our from this fire engulfed basement.” Earley was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He was evaluated in the emergency room and then airlifted to the burn center in Chapel Hill. Brad Christopher, a Captain with Harrisburg Fire & Rescue, was transported to the hospital and treated for for non-life threatening injuries. “His burns come from trying to rescue his fellow firefighter,” Brisley said. A third firefighter, Keith Starns, from the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department and a fourth, Jimmy Greene, Harrisburg Fire & Rescue and Charlotte firefighter, were also injured. They did not need to be transported to the hospital.

Five fire departments responded to the scene:
Robinson Volunteer Fire Department Harrisburg Fire & Rescue Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department Newell Volunteer Fire Department Charlotte Fire Department

The fire totally destroyed the home. The cause of the fire is expected to be released Tuesday.

Donations for the injured firefighters can be made to: Central Carolina Bank Branch Harrisburg Burned Firefighters Fund, Account # 281182070. Flowers and cards can be sent to: Harrisburg Fire & Rescue 6450 Morehead Road Harrisburg, NC 28075

There will be a blood drive at the Harrisburg Fire & Rescue station on March 29. Station phone number: (705)455-3574

Monday, March 4, 2002
NC Firefighter Fights for His Life Four Injured in House Fire

By AMY LEHTONEN Courtesy of NBC6 Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — A firefighter is fighting for his life after he fell through a pit of flames battling a house fire in eastern Mecklenburg County Monday afternoon. A second firefighter was injured trying to help him.

Heavy smoke and flames engulfed the home around 12:30 p.m.

Dale Griffin lives in 10,000 block Harrisburg Rd. and was at home when the fire started.

“I was upstairs. The phone rang and I was on the phone when I smelled smoke,” Griffin said. “I went downstairs and saw the fire.”

Griffin said he called 911 for help.

“I tried to get a water hose to put it out but I couldn’t,” Griffin said.

The Harrisburg Volunteer Fire Department was the first to respond to the call. When firefighters arrived on scene, half of the home was engulfed in flames.

From the 6NEWS helicopter AirStar6, flames and heavy smoke were seen coming from the home.

“One of the first firefighters on scene was stretching a hose through heavy fire conditions when he”literally fell into a basement full of flames,” said Rob Brisley, Charlotte Fire Department. “The firefighters right next to him literally pulled him our from this fire engulfed basement.”

A firefighter was airlifted from the scene with life-threatening injuries.

The firefighter was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He was evaluated in the emergency room and then airlifted to the burn center in Chapel Hill. He arrived there around 3 p.m.

The second firefighter was transported to Carolinas Medical Center by ambulance and is currently listed in serious condition.

“His burns come from trying to rescue his fellow firefighter,” Brisley said.

The two firefighters are from the Robinson Volunteer Fire Department. A third firefighter from Robinson and a fourth from the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department were also injured. They did not need to be transported to the hospital.

Five fire departments responded to the scene:

Robinson Volunteer Fire Department Harrisburg Volunteer Fire Department Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department Newell Volunteer Fire Department Charlotte Volunteer Fire Department

The fire totally destroyed the home. The cause is under investigation.

Posted on Tue, Mar. 05, 2002

Wood-burning stove ignited blaze that injured firefighters
Staff Writers

A fire that caused critical injuries to a local firefighter was sparked by combustible materials placed near a wood-burning stove, authorities said Tuesday.

Josh Earley, a Charlotte firefighter who was working part-time for the Harrisburg Volunteer Fire Department when he was injured Monday, remained in critical condition Tuesday at the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, authorities said the east Mecklenburg house fire that caused his injuries was an accident caused by common but flammable household products placed near a free-standing wood stove in the basement.

Also, authorities said the owner of the house had been cited for running an illegal junkyard, with automobiles and small engine parts littering the property. Mecklenburg County took the owner to District Court in January, accusing him of violating zoning ordinances, said Cary Saul, director of land use and environmental services for the county.

Saul said a judge ordered the owner to clean the property up, but the owner appealed to Superior Court and the case remains unresolved. The zoning violation applied only to the exterior of the house, Saul said.

Earley, 23, had been working Monday at his part-time job with the Harrisburg Volunteer Fire Department when the accident happened.

Fire officials said he suffered burns to more than 80 percent of his body. Three other firefighters were injured, as they reached down and pulled Earley from the flames. Two of those firefighters were treated and released, officials said Tuesday.

A third, Brad Christopher, was in good condition Tuesday at Carolinas Medical Center.

Earley’s relatives were preparing for the worst, even as they and Earley’s fellow firefighters prayed for his recovery.

“I hope to get him back just as quickly as we can,” said Earley’s supervisor, Capt. Lynita Sikes.

Earley’s injuries are among the most serious suffered by a Charlotte firefighter in decades, according to Fire Chief Luther Fincher.

“This is every firefighter’s nightmare,” Fincher said. “This is the most serious injury I’ve seen in my 37 years in the department.”

About 6:30 p.m., officials from the burn center called some of Earley’s family members who were not already in Chapel Hill.

“They’re not expecting him to make it,” said Shirley Earley, the firefighter’s aunt.

Earley, who lives in Midland, has been a firefighter for about 15 months. Monday was a day off from his Charlotte duties.

Five departments respond

More than two dozen firefighters from five departments were called to the brick house at 10334 Harrisburg Road about 12:15 p.m.

Fire officials said at least one person was at home when the fire broke out. He called 911 and tried unsuccessfully to put out the fire. The man was not injured.

Earley, one of several firefighters dragging two hoses through a side door, began attacking the blaze in preparation for a search for potential victims.

The floor gave in and Earley, at the nozzle of one of the hoses, fell to the basement, officials said.

Christopher, a captain with the Harrisburg Volunteer Fire Department, reached out to Earley and suffered burns to his head and arm.

Keith Starnes, of the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, and Jimmy Greene, working with the Harrisburg department, suffered minor injuries. Greene is also a full-time Charlotte firefighter. Starnes and Greene are recovering at their homes.

The other firefighters were injured when they pulled Earley from the basement. Volunteers from the Newell and Robinson departments also responded.

Charlotte fire officials met with Earley’s parents at Carolinas Medical Center before he was flown to Chapel Hill. Firefighters accompanied them to Chapel Hill Monday afternoon.

“He tolerated the flight to Chapel Hill pretty well,” Charlotte Deputy Fire Chief Jon Hannan said of the injured firefighter who arrived at the burn unit about 3 p.m.

Officials said Earley was wearing his breathing equipment while inside the house, which may limit injury to his respiratory tract.

The Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal’s Office, along with local, state and federal police agencies, is still investigating the cause of the blaze. A damage estimate has not been released, but the house is charred from basement to roof.

Fuel inside house

Investigators said there was gasoline, at least one engine, and a lawn mower inside the house.

Earley has been with the Charlotte Fire Department about 15 months. He works at Station 27 on U.S. 29, responding to fire and medical emergencies at UNC Charlotte, University Hospital and area businesses and homes.

Earley started fighting fires when he was still in high school, said Troy Bridges, who worked with him at the Flowes Store Volunteer Fire Department in rural Cabarrus County.

“As long as I’ve known him, the only thing he’s wanted to do was be a professional firefighter,” said Bridges, still with the Flowes Store department.

Fire officials said Earley is so enthusiastic about firefighting and helping people, he would do the job without pay.

About a dozen Charlotte firefighters are in Chapel Hill attending to the family.

Counselors on hand

A chaplain visited with Earley’s parents, and the Charlotte Fire Department made counselors available to firefighters Monday. Earley is single.

Mayor Pat McCrory led a moment of silence in the firefighters’ honor at the Charlotte City Council meeting Monday night.

Sikes, Earley’s supervisor, said everyone at Station 27 loves him, even though he’s the new guy.

Since coming to work there, he has been razzed as the newcomer, she said. He was always serious when it was time to go to work.

Other Charlotte firefighters have already volunteered to work in Earley’s place, so he won’t have to use the little sick leave he’s accumulated, Sikes said.

That’s an indication of how highly people think of him, she said. Charlotte firefighters have received calls from several fire departments in the Carolinas, she said.

They’re united in prayer, but also leaning on the fortitude of a young colleague.

“If will and strength have anything to do with recovery, then he definitely will be back soon,” Sikes said. “He has the will.”

Staff writer Peter Smolowitz contributed to this report.

Robert F. Moore: (704) 358-5934; rfmoore@charlotteobserver.com.

2/27/2002 A special thanks to the NCSFA for a $5,000 donation.
A special thanks to the NCSFA for a wonderful contribution of
$5,000.00 Diamond Sponsorship
NCSFA Webiste
2/19/2002 Community Day – March 2, 2002

The firefighters of North Carolina need your help placing name tags and medallions on the Wall Relief Sculptures that are being donated to the families of the firefighters who lost their lives in the World Trade Center. We will need some glue guns and a few people that have good hand-printing skills to number the works of art. There are about 350 of these sculptures so we need a lot of help.


MARCH 2, 2002

The event will be held at Fire Station #1, downtown Raleigh at 220 South Dawson St.

On display will be the Rock Relief Sculpture that the North Carolina Firefighters and the New York City Firefighters will be presenting to President George W. Bush.

Also the Official Fallen Firefighters Motorcycle

This will also be a great opportunity to meet some of New York’s and North Carolina’s finest firefighters..

There will be food available served by the Feed the Firefighters Foundation.

Several Senators and Congressmen have shown interest in attending. Commissioner Jim Long will be there as well as some of our local officials.

If you would like to be a part of this special event, come on by. Or you can make a contribution to the

North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation
P.O. Box 187, Garner, N.C. 27529

Feel free to call for more information :
Toll free 1-877-810-1800 or local 919-834-1800

This event is sponsored by the
North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation

2/15/2002 Enjoy this New Dynamic Site and there is More to Come

We have migrated from static HTML to dynamic ASP. What does this mean you ask?

It means that in time you will see more items being added over time that could not be done before. Officers will have the ability to post news from their web browser making the 3 most recent appear instantly on main page, all on the news page and on their officer page when completed. We are also looking at the following.

  • a store of merchandise that can be searched and order items on the web with paying by credit card
  • be able to leave tributes to individuals listed in the fallen database
  • a real-time mailing list that doesn’t have to wait until 3am to send messages
  • any many more

It won’t come over night but we are in it long term anyway. Again I hope you enjoy it and let me know if you have suggestions webmaster@ncfff.org.

Chad Simon
NCFFF Secretary

2/14/2002 A Special Thank You to Gray’s Creek Fire Department
A special thank you goes to the Gray’s Creek Fire Department, Station 18 from Hope Mills, North Carolina.

November 24th was truly a day the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation was blessed. Being that this was the Thanksgiving Holiday it was definitely a day to be thankful.

The members of the Gray’s Creek Fire Department donated and delivered a 1973 Pumper to the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation that Saturday.

Individuals who have donated their time and materials in anticipation of this event will begin the restoration of this piece of equipment. Once restoration is completed, this Pumper will be available for parades, events and funerals throughout the State.

God bless you for your loyalty and support of North Carolina’s Firefighters and God bless those we miss so much.

2/14/2002 Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc.
Foundation Officers recently visited Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc. Show Car Manager, Frances Gregory, Show Car Specialist, Norman Parrish , and owner Richard Childress received a wall relief for their support of the foundation. Following the presentation a shop tour was given.
2/14/2002 Room for Rent
Fuquay-Varina, NC
Furnished Room,Private Bath,all utilities. use of Washer, Dryer & Kitchen, Gym Room for Clean, Quiet Mature Firefighter No Smoking, No pets , Reference Required. Call Debbie Scara (919) 639-3430 after 6:PM
2/9/2002 Volunteers needed for…
2002 Blazin’ Wheels Ride July 20th, 12:00pm.

This is an event to raise money and awareness for North Carolina’s Fallen Firefighters Foundation. This event will aid in funding the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial and Scholorships for the surviving dependants of our fallen firefighters. Volunteers are needed across the State. North Carolina Motorcyclists will come to Raleigh for Poker Run, 50/50 draw and Procession through the State Capitol. Food and Entertainment will be available. Interested volunteers please reply as soon as possible. We need your contact information. We are ready to advertise! contact blazinwheels@email.com


North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation
P O Box 68, Bahama, NC 27503
(919) 697-5350