The 36th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service will honor 19 firefighters who died in the line of duty from New York. They are among the 75 firefighters who died in 2016 and 20 firefighters who died in previous years who will be remembered at the official national service at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md., Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017.
Lieutenant Robert G. Alford, age 58; Firefighter Frank D. Fontaino, Jr., age 73; Firefighter Bruce M.
Foss, age 53; Deputy Chief William J. Guido, age 68; Firefighter Dennis J. Heedles, Sr., age 56;
Firefighter Cornell L. Horne, age 65; Firefighter Charles L. Jones, III, age 50; Firefighter Thomas J.
Kelly, age 58; Firefighter John F. McNamara, age 44; Firefighter Raymond Ragucci, age 59; Lieutenant
Patrick J. Sullivan, age 54; Captain Vincent Ungaro, age 60; and Firefighter Robert J. Ventriglia, age 63;
of the Fire Department of New York, died from illnesses related to their response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Fire Chief Arthur E. Brault, age 54, of the Cumberland Head Fire Department, passed away Dec. 20, 2016, after responding to a structure fire earlier in the day.
Lieutenant Joseph P. DiBernardo, age 40, of the Fire Department of New York, died Nov. 22, 2011, from severe traumatic injuries sustained after jumping to escape a fire in a fourth-story apartment building Jan. 23, 2005.
Deputy Chief Michael J. Fahy, age 44, of the Fire Department of New York, died from injuries sustained during a house explosion Sept. 27, 2016.
Captain Keith Lane, age 53, of the Oceanside Fire Department, died Aug. 27, 2016, after suffering a
heart attack within 24-hours of responding to assist at a motor vehicle accident.
Fire Police Captain Merle L. Nell, age 78, of the Volunteer Fire Company of Vernon, died Nov. 26, 2016, after becoming ill on a mutual aid fire call for reported smoke in a residence.
Firefighter Theodore A. Stafford, Jr., age 73, of the Sag Harbor Fire Department, was found deceased
May 2, 2016, in the driveway of his home shortly after responding to the fire station.
Their names will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial on the Academy grounds. The
national tribute is sponsored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Department
of Homeland Security’s U.S. Fire Administration.
Thousands are expected to attend the service, including families and friends of the fallen firefighters,
members of Congress, Administration officials and other dignitaries. Families will receive flags flown
over the U. S. Capitol and the National Memorial. Members of the fire service, honor guard units and pipe and drum units from across the country will participate in this national tribute.