Fallen Hartland firefighter to be honored

Posted Sept. 30, 2009, at 6:18 p.m.

HARTLAND, Maine — Michael Snowman, a veteran Hartland firefighter who died in the line of duty, will be honored at the 28th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service in Emmitsburg, Md.

Snowman will be among the 98 men and five women from 36 states remembered at the official national service held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg on Oct. 4. Nineteen firefighters who died in previous years also will be honored.

Snowman, 49, died after collapsing at the scene of a mutual aid house fire in Detroit on Nov. 17, 2008.

Hartland Fire Chief Donny Neal said at least one member of the department will be traveling to the event.

The national tribute is sponsored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the federal Department of Homeland Security.

Thirty-six states experienced line-of-duty deaths in 2008. Deaths resulted from many causes, including vehicle accidents while en route to or returning from emergency calls, training incidents, building collapses, diving incidents, natural disaster response, being struck by vehicles, trees, gunshots and other objects at the incident scene, falls, heart attacks, aircraft crashes and burns.

The ceremony marks the beginning of National Fire Prevention Week designated by President Barack Obama to focus national attention on the destruction of property and loss of life caused by fire.

During 2008, 103 firefighters died in the line of duty, making firefighting one of the nation’s most dangerous occupations. More than 5,000 people, including members of Congress, administration officials, members of the fire service and families and friends of the fallen firefighters will attend the event. Families receive flags flown over the U.S. Capitol and the National Memorial.

The NFFF stated that many fire departments across the country will conduct simultaneous services, lower flags to half-staff, sound sirens at noon and observe a moment of silent tribute.

For information, visit Weekend.FireHero.org which includes a complete list of this year’s honored fallen firefighters.

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