Harrisonburg Fire Dept. honors fallen firefighters by illuminating stations in red

The red lights will be up through this weekend.
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 9:38 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - This week, the Harrisonburg Fire Department and joins fire stations across the country by illuminating their fire stations in the color red to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

The red lights will be up every night through this weekend when the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will hold its annual memorial weekend to honor firefighters who have died in the line of duty.

“The goal of this program is to help ensure that the families of these firefighters understand that we will never forget. By illuminating our fire stations, we are telling the families of these firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice that we remember and that we will always remember the sacrifice that they’ve made,” Harrisonburg Fire Chief Matthew Tobia said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation was unable to hold its annual memorial service last year, so this year, Tobia said they will honor those who have died over the last two years, which is a total of 215 firefighters in the U.S. and all who have passed in previous years.

“We recognize that when we put on this uniform that we may be called upon to make that ultimate sacrifice, and I think the one thing we want more than anything else is to know that our families will be taken care of,” Tobia said.

Tobia said on average, 100 firefighters die in the line of duty every year and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused that to rise.

“We’re really mindful of the fact that this disease can affect first responders every bit as much as it affects other people,” Tobia said.

Community members are encouraged to show their support by shining red lights at your home, and the Harrisonburg Fire Department has invited its city partners to participate as well.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation memorial service will be live-streamed at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2.

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