Firefighters put their lives at risk every day to protect the public, so
planning a funeral should ensure proper respect is given on their passing. In fact, part
of paying respect to a firefighter includes a number of fire department
traditions, which honor firefighters who have passed. For firefighters
who have died in the line of duty, funeral services include full military-style honors.
After a line of duty death
When a firefighter dies in the line of duty, his or her family must be
notified before the press. Notification of the family begins the mourning
period. Signs of mourning a fallen firefighter include shrouded badges,
bunting on the station’s sign and on the firefighter’s engine,
and the lowering of the fire station flag to half-staff. Most fire station
departments will assign a family member liaison, which serves as the single
point of contact with the fire department.
Walk-through for the viewing
In funeral planning, the family needs to choose the detail if they have
requested an honor guard. However, the family can also request specific
department members. The honor guard stands vigil during the funeral services
or wake. A team of two honor guards takes a 15-minute watch, beginning
30 minutes before the viewing and ending 30 minutes after, one at the
head and one at the foot of the casket. Some fire departments expand
honor guard duties to include the pallbearers and color guard for the funeral.
Etiquette for uniformed members
Unless someone is a pallbearer or member of the honor guard or color guard,
he or she should remove his or her cover when entering the funeral home.
Uniformed members may wear their hats at all times, but some put their
hats on when they go back outside. The common protocol for saluting the
casket is to only salute when wearing the cover.
When Arthur Thompson added the funeral home on the
Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory cemetery grounds, it was only the second funeral home/cemetery combination
in the country. Mountain View currently has 160 acres of property, 110
of which have been fully developed for cemetery use. To learn more, please
call (253) 584-0252.