The America’s Fallen Firefighter Memorial (AFFM) Steering Committee has established a process to include on the Fallen Firefighter Memorial at the time of Dedication, the names of those who were on memorials of individual jurisdictions.
From the time of Dedication onwards, names will be incorporated using the following set of criteria. The criteria for names to be included on the Memorial have been developed taking into account the agreed commemorative purpose and in consultation with the AFFM and all North American fire agencies.
“The America’s Fallen Firefighter Memorial commemorates those who have been killed in the line of duty or have died as a result of their duties and recognizes the firefighter contribution to its American Communities.
This memorial has been created to honor all firefighter line-of-duty deaths and is not meant to replace or otherwise take the place of any local, state or national firefighter memorial, but to expand the opportunity to honor and recognize their ultimate sacrifice.
The Memorial should capture a range of emergency response and life-safety elements including:
Courage, duty and integrity;
• The perpetual need to serve the community;
• The unpredictable nature of emergency responses;
• The strength, unity and common purpose of the firefighter brotherhood.
“American Soil” Means North American Continent and all external Territories administered by the United States Government.
“Call out” A formal or directed call or recall to duty.
“Committee” America’s Fallen Firefighter Memorial Executive Committee (AFFMEC)
“Died as a result of” Means a firefighter died as a direct and conclusive link to a personal injury causing or substantially contributing to the death. An illness or disease may be classed as an injury if arising from an external physical cause or contracted in the course of duty.
“Killed on duty” Means a firefighter who is killed while on duty.
“Memorial” America’s Fallen Firefighter Memorial located in Ogden, Utah which includes the names of firefighters of all American fire agencies (including former fire organizations) who have been killed on duty or have died as a result of their duties on American soils.
“In the Line of Duty” Means any action taken while acting as a firefighter, while on call-back or on duty.
“Training” Firefighters undergoing structured and formal operational training.
“Firefighter” An agency authorized person who is involved in the prevention and suppression of fires, hazmat, and/or explosions; or the enforcement of federal, state, country or municipal laws/codes concerning fire prevention, suppression, or arson; who is employed by or a member of a volunteer, municipal, county , state, federal/military, industrial, or private fire department or brigade, that is duly authorized and empowered to engage in fire suppression and prevention activities.
Recalled to Duty
• Firefighter’s recalled to duty for a special purpose are effectively on duty as soon as they leave home and such cases will be classed as actually on duty rather than traveling (for example, attending an incident).
• Firefighter’s who are killed or die as a result of injuries after being the target of criminal activity, because of their role or previous role with a police service (ie retribution/revenge), will be included regardless if they are serving or former (including retired) firefighters.
• A retired firefighter may be included if the injuries causing their death were as a result of an “on duty” incident.
• The death of a retired member must have a direct and conclusive link to a personal injury causing or substantially contributing to their death.
• Cases of suicide.
• As a general rule where the death of a firefighter was as result of being involved in criminal activity, they would not be included, however, being inclusive rather than exclusive, the benefit of the doubt may go towards the inclusion of a firefighter.
• Alcohol or substance abuse, and other abuses.
Unknown cause of death or open finding of death by Coroner
• Death occurring on duty but the evidence does not fully disclose how the cause of death arose resulting in an inquest returning an open verdict is not an automatic exclusion from the Memorial.
Unconfirmed and Historical Cases
• In circumstances where a firefighter died of unnatural causes while serving and death may have occurred in the line of duty but the facts are unconfirmed. This may be due to the date of deathor name of the deceased being unknown, or lack of corroboration of a reported death, or it is not known if it occurred on or as a result of duty. It would be incumbent on the relevant jurisdiction to provide information as to the circumstances of the death and details of the firefighter(s) involved.
• In cases where the firefighter survived the initial line of duty trauma, illness or exposure, but later succumbed to long term complications from that line of duty trauma, illness or exposure, a determination from the attending physician indicating a direct relationship between the immediate cause of death and the line of duty trauma, illness or exposure must be provided.
• A copy of the firefighter’s death certificate, clearly indicating the cause(s) of death must be provided.
• For historical cases, AFFM will recognize a line of duty death whereas the incumbent has previously been inducted as a line of duty death by a local, state, or national memorial.
• Sudden death from natural causes and deaths from illness or disease are included where the performance of a particular duty directly contributed to the death, for example, a collapse or heart attack brought on by physical exertion involving:
• An emergency response.
• The protection of life or property
Compulsory physical training
• Deaths from illness or disease directly relating to an accidental injury in close proximity to it may be shown under this classification.
• Sudden death on non-operational duties is not automatically included, but in being inclusive rather than exclusive, the benefit of the doubt may go towards the inclusion of any sudden death on duty.
Names withheld from inclusion
• Where an agency has withheld a name from inclusion on the Memorial for any reason, the name may be included at a later date provided they meet the criteria.
Name Removal From Memorial
Where information is provided to the AFFMEC under the following conditions a name may be removed from the Memorial.
• The death was as a result of proven criminal activity
• The death did not occur
• The death was not as a result of injuries sustained.
Reinstating name on the Memorial
• Where information is provided to the AFFMEC in relation to a name that has been removed or not placed on the Memorial, that name may be reinstated under the following circumstances:
• Withdrawal of criminal charges
• Evidence death was found not be a result of criminal activity
• Other evidence or information which provides the Committee with the ability to reinstate the name.
Nothing in this criteria is meant to interfere with the current jurisdictional criteria for State, National or International based Memorials.
The Committee notes that from time to time an agency may be required to adjudicate on the death of an official member where the criteria may appear to not define the circumstance. Such deaths should not preclude the agency from putting forward the name and full details of circumstances of death for the AFFMEC to determine inclusion or otherwise.