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    After the tragedy on Sept.11 our dept took a good look at our plan for a LODD. We found like probably a lot of depts that we would not be very prepared for a LODD or a serious injury. We are now establishing a protocol along with a family support team. We are a combined dept with 7 fulltime and 60 volunteers. If your dept has a protocol in place already I would greatly appreciate and info you could share or if you could send me a copy of your protocol it would be greatly aprreciated as well. Thank you. [email protected]

    [ 01-11-2002: Message edited by: LT. SHONEY ]


  • #2
    There is a plethora of informaiton out there to help you.

    From USFA:

    1. Fire Fighter Autopsy Protocols (FA-156)
    2. The Aftermath of Firefighter Fatality Incidents

    From IAFC:

    3. Guide for Investigation of Line of Duty Death

    From IAFF

    4. Guidelines for Fire Fighter LODD

    From Fire Engineering Mag (I think)

    5. Guide for LODD Funeral

    From NJ Div. of Fire Safety

    6. Fire Service Guidelines for Fire Fighter Line of Duty DEath and Serious Injury

    Also check the website for the Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

    Hope this helps.



    • #3
      Thanks I have some of that info already. I was trying to see what other depts have in place. There is so much info it is hard to know where to start. I though if I could see a protocol it might help with making our own. Thanks again.


      • #4


        • #5
          Guidelines for Ceremonial Procedures

          These "Guidelines for Ceremonial Procedures" are being made available at no charge, courtesy of Sisters-Camp Sherman RFPD and Lighthouse Uniform Co. Seattle WA.

          They were developed to function as guidelines only, and have no legal status or bearing. We hope when the situation arises, that they are helpful.



          The purpose of this paper is to set forth responsibility and procedures in the event of line-of-duty death or death of a member or retiree of the Fire Department.


          For line-of-duty death refer to Policy PP-24 SOB, Line-of-Duty Death for necessary legal procedure. These Ceremonial Procedures can not take the place or change items in Policy PP-24.

          This department accepts the responsibility to show proper reverence and provide proper representational services for its deceased Firefighters and Employees. Each employee should in turn realize and accept this responsibility and attend whenever possible, Funeral Services of deceased Firefighters and co-workers as well as other ceremonial occasions.


          A. Line of Duty Death

          1. Upon the death of a member in the line of duty, the Officer in Charge shall notify the Fire Chief or in his absence, the Acting Chief as well as the Assistant Chief, Union President and District Chaplain.

          2. The Chief and a Designated Representative, the Department Chaplain if available, shall notify the next of kin as soon as possible. No radio traffic should be aired concerning the death.

          3. The Chief or a designated Representative should officially notify the District Board of Directors and other appropriate officials.

          4. If possible and the scene allows, the Officer in Charge should relieve the immediate coworkers (those in immediate proximity or those responsible for attempted rescue and/or removal of the deceased) from the scene to return to station.

          5. Defusing by the Chaplain or qualified person (OCRT member) to be done as soon as possible on the same shift. This to be followed by general information of how notification is being done, and what is to be expected in the next few hours.

          6. Public Information Officer should be notified or a person designated to handle any public news as soon as possible so that factual information is disseminated promptly.

          7. Within 72 hours of the death there should be a debriefing. This to be completed consistent with District Policy PP-20, Critical Incident Stress.

          8. The Chief shall designate an Officer-in-Charge who shall be responsible for the department's involvement in the funeral procedures. The department's Chaplain could do this in conjunction with the Duty Officer for days which an activity is scheduled.

          9. It is suggested that upon receipt of a notice of a member killed in the line of duty and following the proper notification of the next of kin, that the station flags be lowered to half mast and to fly half mast for seven days after the funeral. (In some jurisdictions the city flags will also fly at half mast.)

          B. Death Other Than in the Line of Duty

          1. When any member of the department learns of the death of an active or retired member of the Fire Board notification should be given to the Chief and the Chaplain.

          2. As soon as possible, the Chief as well as the Chaplain, should make a personal visit to the immediate family offering any service the department can render.

          3. The chief shall designate an Officer-in-Charge who shall be responsible for the Department's involvement in the funeral procedures.

          4. It is suggested that the station flags fly at half-mast until the day after the funeral.

          C. When the Scene Involves the Death of a Relative of a Member of the Department.

          1. When on scene it is discovered that a death (or trauma) involves a relative of a department member the Officer-in-Charge should designate a department member, the Chaplain if available, to take another department member and make notification to the member and family.

          2. The department should offer any help or services that may be applicable.


          A. In any case (A, B, or C, above) the person notifying next of kin should stay with the family member until support people can gather. Support people may be other family members, church members or fellow fire fighters or their wives.

          B. Following initial notification it is often very helpful to make the first telephone contact of relatives. You should be prepared to explain the circumstances of the death and answer any questions. The general circumstances of death should be explained, however it is very important to not infer or draw any conclusions as to cause of death (see PP 24.5), explain that it is and will be under investigation for some time; for further guidance on your statements contact the Chief or his designee.

          C. Meals may be provided by District members or families; this should be coordinated with the Chaplain or his designee.

          D. It may be that the Chaplain or a secretary can arrange some of this.


          A. The Officer-in-Charge shall contact the family of the deceased member and, in coordination with the funeral director, establish the family's desires as to Fire District participation in the funeral. He/She shall assist the family in any way. He/She shall offer the fire district's services for the following situations:

          1. A formal funeral at home, funeral home, church or cemetery, which may involve the use of an engine, active pallbearers, honorary pallbearers and Funeral detail, color guard (if available). A Color Guard and Bugler shall be reserved for those deaths which occur in the line-of-duty.

          2. A semi-formal funeral at home, funeral home, church or cemetery, which may involve active pallbearers, honorary pallbearers, honor guard and Funeral Detail.

          3. A non-formal funeral at home, funeral home, church or cemetery, which may not have fire department involvement, other than members attending in a passive roll either in the viewing and/or funeral service.

          4. A private funeral at home, church or cemetery; respecting the family's wishers to have no outside participation at the funeral.

          Note: At all times the desires of the family shall be paramount and shall be given the fullest respect.

          B. Having established the wishes of the family, the Officer-in-Charge shall carry out any or all of the following in order to realize these wishes. The OIC shall continually be in communication with the Funeral Director as he arranges for the Fire Department's participation.

          1. Normal Funeral Arrangements.

          A. Arrange for an Honor Guard to stand duty during the viewing, minimum of four.

          B. Arrange for Active Pallbearers; six (6) plus an officer.

          C. Arrange for necessary equipment (clean, wash, and wax as needed.)

          D. Arrange for Honorary Pallbearers (Family, Company Officers, Retirees, etc.)

          E. Arrange for Funeral Detail (All uniformed members in attendance.)

          F. Arrange for Bugler (if one available.)

          G. Arrange for Color Guard (practice ahead of time).

          H. Obtain American flag for casket. (Funeral Director secures flag for veterans only.)

          I. Provide members of the Fire Department with the information necessary to carry out their roles in the funeral.

          J. Survey the area of the service and make provision for placement of all attending units and provide information and/or a map as necessary.

          K. Designate an area of assembly for all attending (preferably in a building or nearby room). Be sure to include all areas being used (Funeral home or church and cemetery, etc.). Note: Such assembly areas could be a block or two away so as to arrange for participants parking that will not hinder any one else's parking; then march as a unit to place of assignment.

          L. If black tape is to be used for a horizontal black band for the badges of all uniformed personnel have tape and small round tip scissors that can be available for use in the assembly area.

          M. White gloves should be available for honor guard, color guard and pallbearers.

          N. The OIC or his delegated representative will coordinate all commands during the movement of the casket and personnel.

          2. Special Arrangement for Formal Funeral

          A. A fire department engine designated by the Chief will be appropriately prepared with flowers and black bunting and stripped of hose for use to transport the casket

          Note: In case of multiple joint funeral, vans, or station wagons can be substituted for engines.

          B. Arrange for the proper placement of all vehicles that will participate in the funeral procession.

          C. A map of the areas involved should be prepared to expedite the proceedings and assist members, out-of-town guests and others that may need it.

          Access that may be needed but consider the following:

          1. Location of Fire Department.

          2. Location of Funeral Home, church and cemetery as needed.

          3. Location of assembly areas.

          4. Location of parking areas.

          5. Location of vehicles for funeral procession.

          6. Route of procession.

          7. Location of grave in cemetery.

          8. Any other information deemed necessary.

          D. On a map or a separate sheet provide diagrams of the vehicle placement at each location and the route of movement for personnel.

          E. The OIC or a designated representative will coordinate all commands during the movement of the casket and personnel.

          F. Proper arrangements should be made ahead of time with the police department for handling traffic and parking. Consider police escort to the cemetery also.

          G. Photographic coverage should be considered and tactfully implemented if used.

          H. Establish guidelines for the media and press considering placement and interviews. Note: Food service may be needed between morning and afternoon funeral service or following a service. Consider help from the district's ladies or wives or auxiliary or support groups such as churches, lodges etc.


          A. Uniforms: Standard issue for winter type (long sleeve with buttoned cuff) (Not polo shirt) with black tie. Ties supplied by department.

          B. All off-duty members and those on-duty members, upon proper relief from normal duty, should make every effort to honor their fellow members by attending the funeral services

          C. All members of the fire department shall acquaint themselves with the prescribed courtesies of the fire department's funeral procedures as outlined in this guide.

          D. Honor Guard:

          1. At least four (4) honor guards are required.

          2. One member of the Honor Guard shall be designated as the Officer of the Guard (OG). He shall be responsible for obtaining necessary equipment (white gloves, black badge tape, etc.) and for the scheduling of the Honor Guard members.

          3. Two Honor Guards, one for the head and one for the foot of the casket, shall be scheduled at ten (10) minute intervals.

          4. Uniforms shall be dress uniforms with tie and white gloves.

          5. Honor Guard shall stand at attention at their assigned positions for the duration of their ten (10) minute tour of duty.

          6. Honor Guard may be used during viewing and prior to the service as custom dictates.

          E. Honorary Pallbearers:

          1. Persons designated as Honorary Pallbearers, usually retirees or members of the family of the deceased, shall at all times move ahead of the casket as it is moved.

          2. The Honorary Pallbearers shall sit on the designated side of the church or funeral home during the service.

          3. Dress for Honorary Pallbearers

          a. Retirees will normally wear civilian clothes.

          b. Active members shall wear the district's standard dress uniform.

          F. Active Pallbearers

          1. The Active Pallbearers Detail shall consist of six (6) pallbearers and one officer.

          2. The officer of the detail shall contact the OIC and/or the funeral director and Chaplain for detailed instructions.

          3. The pallbearers will not salute while acting in this capacity.

          4. The flag shall be placed over the casket with blue field over the deceased's left shoulder.

          Note: Any time the casket is moved in public, Funeral Home to coach, coach to church, church to coach or coach to grave site the pallbearers carry it.

          5. The pallbearers will sit in the designated place at the services.

          6. The Pallbearer detail will be responsible to know how to fold the U.S.flag properly and do so in the ceremony and make the proper presentation to the commanding officer and in turn to the surviving spouse. (Flag folding & related procedures attached.)

          7. Upon orders from the officer the detail shall take their place with the rest of the funeral detail.

          G. Funeral Detail:

          1. All members of the department, not otherwise detailed, will act as the Funeral Detail, in dress uniform, no gloves required.

          2. The Funeral Detail will arrive as a group from the staging area prior to the arrival of the funeral coach at the church trying to arrive just a bit before the funeral coach.

          3. For formal and semi-formal funerals the Funeral Detail will take a position in front of the Church in two (2) facing ranks with city officials closest to entry followed by Fire Department officers in order of rank, honorary pallbearers and funeral detail.

          4. As the Active Pallbearers move the casket from the coach the OIC will call the Funeral Detail to attention. If the casket is draped with the flag the OIC will order a hand salute as the casket passes. The command shall be "Present Arms!" The command to end the salute shall be "Order arms!"

          5. After the casket passes the OIC will order, "At ease!" and the Funeral Detail will file into the church according to the rank and sit in designated area of the church. Head covering, if worn, is removed upon entering a Christian church.

          Note: Items 4 and 5 above are repeated upon leaving the place of services and at the time of the grave side or committal services.

          6. The Funeral Detail should ride as a group in cars or vans from funeral home to church, church to gravesite, etc.

          7. After the casket is placed over the grave the Funeral Detail form ranks in front of the grave, highest rank on the right.

          8. If taps are sounded, uniformed members should execute hand salute on order of the OIC.

          9. At any time the officiating pastor, rabbi, or chaplain says, "Let us Pray." All personnel will bow.

          10. All personnel, except active pallbearers while holding the flag, will follow the lead of the officiating clergy as when to cover or uncover their head.


          The following list of equipment should either be on hand or a record attached to these guidelines as to where they can be obtained.

          A. Color guard standards

          B. Casket flag

          C. Black plastic tape or elastic bands for badges

          D. Round tipped scissors

          E. 13 pair of white gloves

          F. Black bunting (for stations and fire truck)


          • #6
            I'm curious, CAP. How the relationship between South Florida and Seattle? Lotta ground between the two.
            The opinions expressed here are that of my own and in no way reflect the opinions of my administration or department.


            • #7
              Check out www.fallen-firefighter.com for sample guidelines, diagrams, forms, etc...



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