It does not seem like 11 years ago that I received a call from Dave Miller of the Sitka Vol. Fire Department that Molly had been killed while responding to a emergency incident in a remote area off site from Sitka. Molly was an vibrant, energetic life force of the Sitka EMS response group. Her passing continues to leave a hole in that department. But all of us in the Alaska emergency response group continue to remember her, and promise to her, the Sitka Vol. Fire Department, and all Alaska responders that we will “Never Forget”.
This past week at the annual ASFA and AFCA Fire Conference in Seward, the Alaska Fire Chiefs Association voted to provide support and “non-profit” management of the newly formed Alaska Firefighter Peer Support Group.
A posting from their facebook page describes —-
We’re official! The Alaska Fire Chief’s Association has unanimously voted to have AKFFPS managed under their 501c3. We have began building our infrastructure and the organization is starting to take shape. A lot of things will be happening in short order so like our page and stay tuned for exciting changes!
This newly formed group is dedicated to serve the fire service family by providing trained peer supporters who can give confidential, appropriate, and supportive assistance.
Some national statistics show that the suicide rate among emergency responders can be as high as 10 times the national average as compared to the average population. This includes both responders who provide services as a part of their career and those who also provide these services as a volunteer. The stress and depression often associated with the job does not care whether the person is paid to respond or not — the stress is still the same.
Please provide you support to this group as they begin their mission. Follow and like their facebook page. Their web site is presently under construction. We will post up dates on this Memorial web site from time to time as a support to their growing organization.
Jeff Bayless was honored this past weekend at the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Ceremony. Jeff, who was a member of our Alaska Fallen Firefighter Memorial Committee, died during a training exercise this past March. Honoring Jeff was his sister Cynthia and members of her family, Chief Jim Vignola from Anchorage Fire Department, and members of Jeff’s Eagle River Station 11 crew.
He would have been so proud of this honor.
This below link is to a video clip of Cynthia and family, and the AFD crew meeting President Obama.
From Emmittsburg Maryland at the National Fire Academy, this weekend watch the National Fallen Firefighter Ceremony live. At this ceremony our good friend Jeff Bayless from the Anchorage Fire Department will be remember and installed on the National Memorial. The service is being attended by members of the Anchorage Fire Department and Jeff’s family.
Sr. Captain Jeff Bayless of the Anchorage Fire Department will be added to the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial this coming Memorial Weekend. A number of Alaska firefighters and family will be attending the ceremony to honor Jeff.
Jeff was a member of our Alaska Fallen Firefighter Memorial committee.
Jeff is another one that we will never forget.
The Alaska State Firefighters Conference is in Seward this year September 28th through October 3rd.
For more information check out their web site at http://www.alaskafireconference.com/home.html
And their facebook page.