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"When a firefighter fell in the line of duty, the Fire Alarm Office, the forerunner of today's computerized [Dispatch], would tap out a special signal, Five-Five-Five (5-5-5), over the telegraph fire alarm circuits which went to all station houses."

"On 16 October 2001, President George W. Bush approved legislation requiring the American flag to be lowered to half-staff on all Federal buildings to memorialize fallen firefighters. Public Law 107-51 requires this action to occur annually in conjunction with observance of the National Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial Service."

American flags across the country will be lowered on Sunday, 5 May 2024. This includes the U.S. Capital and the White House, as well as buildings in your local community.

MMITSBURG, Md. – The late Robert Wysong, who served as the Clinton-Warren Joint Fire District chief, is one of 17 Ohio fallen firefighters who will be honored at the 43rd National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) will host the event this Saturday and Sunday in Emmitsburg, Maryland. This year’s national tribute will honor 89 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2023 and 137 firefighters who died in previous years. The honorees will include Wysong, who died at the age of 70 on Dec. 26, 2023.

Wysong responded to a brush fire on Christmas Eve. He returned home after the call and later that evening, his wife found him unresponsive. He was immediately transported to a local hospital and then airlifted to Miami Valley Hospital where he died due to a heart attack.

In Febrary, Wysong’s son, Andrew, was sworn in as the new chief of the Clinton-Warren Joint Fire District.

“National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend is a time for our nation to pause and reflect on the heroic efforts and selfless service of the fallen firefighters we are paying tribute to this year,” said NFFF CEO Victor Stagnaro. “We will always remember the bravery, commitment, and sacrifices of each of these 226 heroes—and their families.”

There are two events open to the public at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park on the grounds of the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) during Memorial Weekend.

The National Fallen Firefighters Candlelight Service is on May 4 at 7:30 p.m. and will be hosted by Fire Captain Garon Mosby of the St. Louis Fire Department.

The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service is on May 5 at 10 a.m. and will be hosted by actor Jeremy Holm.

*Reprinted with permission by the Wilmington News Journal.

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