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National Fallen

Firefighters Foundation

 

 

National Honor Guard Commanders Association

 

Recommended Funeral Response Levels

 

When a firefighter dies, family members or members of the fire service organization may request a fire service funeral. Based upon the circumstances, the department should provide appropriate services from the planning of the funeral through the survivor follow-up process. To honor all firefighters in a consistent manner, a state or region may want to adopt a policy on the types of services to provide. The following are recommended funeral response levels that many fire service agencies across the county have established and are already using.

 

Level One Funeral Service- Honors bestowed for the line-of-duty death of any active, uniformed member of the Department or Company.  This may include a death stemming from injuries or illness while on duty.

 

Level Two Funeral Service- Honors bestowed for the off duty, or non-duty related death of an active uniformed member of the Department or Company.

 

Level Three Funeral Service- Honors bestowed for the non-line-of-duty death of an active non-uniformed member; retired member (whose death is not attributed to a line-of-duty injury or incident); honorary member; or a member’s spouse or children.

 

Recommended Response Levels and Honors Bestowed

 

The recommended Honors that are bestowed during a firefighter’s funeral that correspond to the appropriate funeral response level are outlined below. Please keep in mind that the surviving family members ultimately determine what Honors if any are performed at the memorial service and or the funeral. And that the chief or director can alter the honors offered, once they are altered though, a new precedent has been set and that department must be prepared to make adjustments again in the future.  For that reason, it is advised that a department develops a standard and makes every effort to adhere to it.  Only under unique and extreme circumstances would a department or company vary from what has already been established.

 

Level 1 Honors Bestowed

 

Level One Funeral Service- Honors bestowed for the line-of-duty death of any active, uniformed member of the Department or Company.  This may include a death stemming from injuries or illness while on duty.

- All military standards observed

- Department Honor and Color Guard

- Department Chaplain    

- Station and apparatus bunting

- Death Watch/Casket Vigil

- Honorary Pallbearers

- Department apparatus used as caisson

- Department apparatus used as a flower truck

- Family transportation

- Department Casket Team

- Bunker gear, helmet and badge presentation

- IAFF medal presentation for IAFF members

- Crossed aerial ladders with flag drape

- Non-crossed aerial ladders (straight up) with flag drape

- Bell Ceremony

- Final tone-out

- Flag presentation

- Fly over (helicopter)

- Firing Party/rifle volley salute (if veteran or law enforcement officer)


 

Level 2 Honors Bestowed

 

Level Two Funeral Service- Honors bestowed for the off duty, or non-duty related death of an active uniformed member of the Department or Company.

 

- All military standards observed 

- Department Honor and Color Guard 

- Department Chaplain                     

- Station and apparatus bunting         

- Static display of apparatus               

- Death Watch/Casket Vigil                

- Honorary Pallbearers

- Department Casket Team

- Bell Ceremony

- Final tone-out

- Flag presentation

- Firing Party/rifle volley salute (if veteran or law enforcement officer)

 

Level 3 Honors Bestowed

 

Level Three Funeral Service- Honors bestowed for the non-line-of-duty death of an active non-uniformed member; retired member (whose death is not attributed to a line-of-duty injury or incident); honorary member; or a member’s spouse or children.

 

- All military standards observed 

- Department Honor and Color Guard

- Death Watch/Casket Vigil

- Department Casket Team

- Bell Ceremony

- Final tone-out

- Flag presentation

- Firing Party/rifle volley salute (if veteran or law enforcement officer)