Nine North Carolina Fallen Firefighters To Be Honored at National Memorial Service on Sunday, October 8

Press release. The 36th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service will honor nine firefighters who died in the line of duty from North Carolina. They are among the 75 firefighters who died in 2016 and 20 firefighters who died in previous years who will be remembered at the official national service at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD, on Sunday, October 8, 2017.

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  • David Kevin Britt
    Fire Chief, age 54
    Severn Volunteer Fire Department
    Died June 18, 2016, after suffering a heart attack at his home several hours after responding to a motor vehicle accident.
  • John M. Davis, Jr.
    Firefighter, age 45
    Kenly Fire Department
    Died May 7, 2016, after experiencing chest pains within 24-hours from assisting with a patient extrication at the scene of a motor vehicle accident.
  • Bradley Steven Long
    Captain, age 28
    Sherrills Ford-Terrill Fire and Rescue
    Died June 6, 2016, while diving at Lake Norman to recover the body of a man who drowned the day before.
  • Richard Michael Sheltra
    Firefighter, age 20
    Pineville-Morrow Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue
    Died April 30, 2016, during a lightning-sparked commercial structure fire at a strip mall.
  • Prentice Jay Tyndall
    Firefighter, age 45
    Hugo Volunteer Fire & Rescue
    Died May 12, 2016, after falling ill following his response to a mutual aid structure fire on May 8, 2016.
  • James Ronald Varnell
    Firefighter, age 53
    Bakertown Volunteer Fire Department
    Died February 2, 2016, after becoming ill immediately following his participation in department training.
  • Joshua Lee Warren
    Firefighter, age 33
    Alexis Fire Department
    Died June 16, 2016, after participating in department-mandated physical fitness training.
  • Joshua M. Woods
    Firefighter, age 24
    Siler City Fire Department
    Died January 12, 2016, from injuries sustained in a crash while responding to a call for a reported cardiac arrest.
  • Tommy Wright
    Firefighter, age 20
    Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue
    Died March 21, 2010, after a car accident on the way back from training.

Their names will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial on the Academy grounds. The national tribute is sponsored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Fire Administration.

Thousands are expected to attend the service, including families and friends of the fallen firefighters, members of Congress, Administration officials and other dignitaries.

Families will receive flags flown over the U. S. Capitol and the National Memorial. Members of the fire service, honor guard units and pipe and drum units from across the country will participate in this national tribute. For a complete list of fallen firefighters being honored and live streaming of the event, visit

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