October 03, 2012

Three fallen Missouri firefighters to be honored at national firefighters' memorial this weekend

Three Missouri firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2011 will be honored as firefighters from across the country come together to remember their fallen comrades this weekend. In all, the names of 85 U.S. firefighters will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, located on the campus of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md.

Oct. 6-7 is the 31st National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend and will be observed by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Fire Administration.

Missouri was one of 34 states that experienced line-of-duty deaths in 2011. The plaques surrounding the memorial, which was established in 1981, contain the names of more than 3,500 firefighters.

The Missouri firefighters who died in the line of duty during 2011and whose names will be added to the National Firefighters Memorial are:

·    Firefighter Henry "Jay" Branscum, age 32, Northeast R-IV Rural Fire Association: Sept. 3, 2011. Firefighter Branscum suffered a fatal medical emergency while working at the scene of a structure fire.

·    Captain Leslie "Les" Clark, age 80, Dixon Rural Fire Protection District: Jan. 20, 2011. Volunteer firefighter Clark suffered a medical emergency while responding to a reported structure fire in a tanker truck. He had served the Dixon Rural Fire Protection District as a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years.

·    Firefighter/Apparatus Operator Richard E. Paul, age 54, Kansas City Fire Department: Jan. 7, 2011. Firefighter Paul experienced a medical emergency during the annual fire department physical examination. Firefighter Paul was transported to a hospital in critical condition where he later died.

"The dedication and sacrifice that firefighters make in order to serve, protect and strengthen their communities is extraordinary," said Missouri State Fire Marshal Randy Cole. "Each time they answer the call to duty, these brave men and women willingly put their own lives and safety on the line in order to ensure the safety of others. The selfless actions of these heroic firefighters will never be forgotten, and we thank their families for their service."

On May 20, 2012 Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Jerry Lee, Fire Marshal Cole and firefighters from across the state honored the fallen Missouri firefighters from 2011 in a solemn ceremony at the Fire Fighters Memorial of Missouri in Kingdom City. The names of Henry "Jay" Branscum, Leslie "Les" Clark and Richard E. Paul were added to the Fire Fighters Line of Duty Memorial Wall commemorating Missouri firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the citizens of the state.


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