An Iowan is among more than 100 firefighters who’ll be honored Sunday (Oct. 5) in a service by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Jon Siarnicki is the executive director of the foundation. He says it’s an annual event in which the family members of all firefighters who’ve died in the line of duty are invited to attend to honor the fallen firefighters. Siarnicki says one of the firefighters that’ll be honored is Michael Kruse of Muscatine, who died September 14, 2002 when the roof of a burning building collapsed. Siarnicki says members of Kruse’s family will attend the ceremony. He says there are far too many people on the list of fallen firefighters. He says on average, 100 firefighters a year die. He says the majority die from heart attacks while on the job, and the second leading cause of death is motor vehicle accidents. The dangerous job of firefighters was highlighted in the September 11th attacks, and Siarnicki says they want to continue the public awareness of the dangers. He says the focus has waned some in the last year, as he says it was more on people’s minds right after the tragedy. Siarnicki says supporting the surviving family members is an important to the foundation. He says it has a lot of impact for them to lose a loved one. He says they do that with a variety of services from support networks to scholarships. For more information on the foundation, surf to:wwwfirehero.org.
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