North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Ceremony – May 7, 2016

This Saturday, May 7, 2016, the annual North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service will be conducted at Nash Square in downtown Raleigh. The event starts at 1:00 p.m. and will be preceded with a parade at 10:00 a.m., featuring honor guards, pipes and drums, and fire apparatus. See event information.

In addition, motorcyclists from across the state will participate in the annual Red Helmet Ride that day, to support the families of the fallen members and the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation. View the flyer (PDF).

Eight firefighters will be added to the memorial wall this year. Six perished in 2015, and two are legacy additions from earlier decades.

The memorial was dedicated in 2006, and contains the names of over 280 firefighters and fire service members who’ve died in the line of duty since 1902.

This Year’s Honored

Robert W. Young Winston-Salem FD 11/17/1918
Joe T. Sowell Hamlet FD 5/14/1969
Amy L. Pierce Badin Lake FD 3/17/2015
James A. Hicks North Carolina Air National Guard Fire and Emergency Services 7/27/2015
James D. Robinson Brasstown FD 8/14/2015
Christopher J. Daniels Pine Level FD 8/17/2015
Carl C. Phillips Locke Township FD 8/27/2015
Sidney Weiner No. 7 Township Fire & Rescue 12/15/2015

Details on those who died in 2015:

  • Daniels, 40, was found unresponsive at the fire station about ninety minutes after the start of shift, and following his normal routine of running for thirty minutes. He was a career Lieutenant. Read USAF info.
  • Hicks, 44, was found unresponsive in his bunkroom several hours after responding to a mutual aid structure fire. He was pronounced dead at the fire station. He was a career Captain. Read USAF info.
  • Phillips, 41, died of an apparent heart attack several hours after responding to a motor-vehicle collision. He was a career Lieutenant. Read USAF info.
  • Pierce, 49, was a volunteer Firefighter. She was also a career paramedic.
  • Robinson, 59, was found unresponsive, while on standby at a local race track. He was treated at the scene, and passed away after transport to the hospital. He was a volunteer Fire Chief. By day he was a music teacher at a folk music school. Read USAF info.
  • Winer, 91, died of injuries as a result of a motor-vehicle collision on October 20, 2015, while operating a department small truck for non-emergency purposes. He sustained serious fractures to both feet and a subsequent leg amputation. He was a volunteer Firefighter. Read USAF info.

And about the legacy additions:

  • Sowell, 38, died at the hospital after suffering a heart attack at the wheel of a pumper, while returning from a midday fire. He was a volunteer member, and worked for the Seaboard Railroad as Operator (Engineer?). Read Richmond County Daily Journal story from May 3.
  • Young, 30, died of a gunshot during a period of civil and racial unrest. He was a volunteer Firefighter. By day he was a shoe salesman. Read a pair of blog posts about the incident: Part 1 and Part 2.
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