“A creedless compassion…”
In 1996, the Lighthouse Uniform Company and the Federation of Fire Chaplains formed an alliance to insure every firefighter lost in the line of duty was afforded the opportunity and the honor of being buried in a dress uniform. This effort was called the Fallen Fire Fighter Dress Uniform Program.
To date, with your help, over 150 families have benefited from it.
Our commitment, when entering this covenant with the FFC, was driven by our recognition of the ‘creedless compassion’ that motivates most members of the Federation.
Fast forward to today; much has changed and some things stayed the same.
What stayed the same: the reasons why we do what we do and that we still need your help.
What changed: the Fallen Fire Fighter Dress Uniform dropped its LODD requirement and has become a collaborative effort between department, individual firefighters and the Lighthouse. Its aim is to insure every firefighter is afforded the honor and every family has the opportunity to bury their loved one in a Class A, at no cost to the family.
The Program is called the Bereavement Uniform Program. Its tag line is ‘Taking Care of Those Who Took Care of Us’™.
The Program has been recognized by the National Volunteer Fire Council, among others, and has been added to their LODD Resource list http://www.nvfc.org/hot-topics/lodd-resources, joining the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the US Fire Administration and the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation.
While this inclusion represents a huge recognition of value from the NVFC, the fact of the matter; now we need your help.
Unlike the FFC which has a dedicated webpage on the Lighthouse website, http://catalog.lighthouseuniform.com/ffc/uniform-packages-c-155_345.html, where you will find the FFC specified Class A Dress Uniform Package and all the accoutrements necessary to be a ‘well dressed’ Chaplain, the Bereavement Uniform Program does not live on the Lighthouse website.
The Program can only be accessed from http://bereavement.lighthouseuniform.com and we are asking you to make sure your department ‘links up’ (using the above URL). It’s easy; there is neither cost nor obligation. If there are any questions, please call us at 800-426-5225.
The rationale behind ‘linking’; most departments have a website and a link will make it easy for affiliated families to find and use the Program. It will create a level of anonymity for those desiring it (requests end up on my desk) and linking helps keep the Program at the top of Internet searches.
The success of the Bereavement Uniform Program is all about awareness, access and timeliness. We can take care of timeliness. We need your help with awareness and access.
When you check out the Bereavement Uniform Program webpage, one of the features you will find is a section called ‘Observations from the Fireground’™. It is a rotating series of quotes, thoughts, ‘pearls of wisdom’ if you will, both dug up and solicited from customers, poster formatted and designed to be hung on day room walls. They are available at no charge. It is an attempt to inculcate the upcoming generation with the ‘wisdom of its elders’. Please consider sending us one of your ‘pearls’.
I took the liberty of sharing a few of the contributions received so far. They will make you think and hopefully they will make you smile;
"Don't let go of the hose, it knows where the fire truck is". Tim Wren Lt. (ret). Troy Fire Department, Troy Michigan
“The worst mistake you can make on the fire ground is failing to recognize that plan A is not working”. Attributed to retired Battalion Chief Darwin Chenault. Contributed by Gary Nuckols, Chief Portales FD, Portales, NM
"When your warning lights begin to melt, it's a sign you're parked too close". Attributed to Alan Brunacini. Contributed by John Morris, Chief, NASCC
“I remember asking an old salt one day why he carried two tools, he had everything on (correctly) and had pockets full of sharpened oiled and well modified tools including dog rope, whistle, chalk, cutter, pliers, knife, door chocks, shove tool, etc... He turned, pulled his Lucky Strike out in a cloud of smoke and said, ‘Kid, self-preservation is its own reward. I never forgot that advice”. Bobby Halton, Editor in Chief, Fire Engineering Magazine
Always best regards,
Steve Cohen, Pres.
P.S. The most valued thing we’ve ever had said about our company “… the Lighthouse’s Fallen Fire Fighter Dress Uniform has been and is one of the finest, caring programs ever instituted (within the Fire Service) and has been a tremendous asset to Chaplains as they deal with LODD’s in their communities. Thank you Lighthouse for your contribution to the Fire Service of America”. Ed Stauffer, Founder, Director, Federation of Fire Chaplains