President Bush, second left, delivers his remarks during the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend at the National Firefighters Academy in Emmitsburg, Md. Sunday, Oct. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
TOPEKA – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback issued an order today for flags to be flown at half-staff throughout the state from sunup to sundown this Sunday, October 16th in recognition of the 30th Annual National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service. The memorial service at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland will honor 72 firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty during the previous year, 2010, including six Kansas firefighters.
“Kansans are forever indebted to the courageous men and women who risk their lives as firefighters to protect our communities and families. We pray for the family, friends and fellow firefighters of the six Kansas firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice last year,” Gov. Brownback said. “I ask citizens and businesses across the state to join me in honoring these brave Kansans along with the other American firefighters who died in the line of duty.”
A bronze plaque containing the names of the fallen firefighters will be added Sunday to the national memorial located on the academy’s campus. Established in 1981, the memorial contains the names of more than 3,500 fallen firefighters.
Capt. Urban A. Eck, Wichita Fire Department, died January 2, 2010 of heart problems. Five days before his death, Eck had been treated for heart-related symptoms at the scene of an apartment fire and was later hospitalized. He was a 27 year veteran of the WFD.
Chief Stanley L. Giles, Linn Valley Lakes Fire Department, died February 10, 2010 in a work accident at a Kansas fire station south of Kansas City. He volunteered with the department for 15 years.
John Bradford Glaser, Shawnee Fire Department, died May 22, 2010 in the line of duty while attempting a rescue in a structure fire. He began his firefighting career in 2004 and was on the Swift Water Rescue Team and the HazMat Team.
Harold D. Reed Sr., Peru Fire District #3, died April 11, 2010 after being overcome by smoke while assisting at a rural brush fire. Reed was actively involved in the Peru Fire Department for 47 years.
Chief Jonathan L. Siemers, Clay Center Fire Department, died February 21, 2010 in the line of duty. A firefighter since 1997, he was on call for the 24 hours preceding his death answering an alarm call at McKinley Apartments – for that reason, his death was considered “in the line of duty.”
Chief Larry W. Suiter, Lorraine Green Garden Fire Department, died September 4, 2010. Chief Suiter passed away after returning home from the incident involving an anhydrous ammonia leak at a grain elevator. He was a 40 year volunteer firefighter.
In Kansas, the six firefighters also will be honored at the Kansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Wichita at the Kansas Fire Museum on October 22nd at 1:30.
The Governor has the authority to direct flags at half-staff in honor of the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service pursuant to Executive Order 10-12.