While the podcast features Fire Hero Families of fallen firefighters who have been honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, MD, the stories recounted by loved ones of the fallen can be of assistance to anyone who is dealing with grief or tragic loss.
Hear Fire Hero Families Share Their Experiences—and Learnings
Each episode addresses a specific topic such as forging new support systems, thriving amidst community “expectations,” and finding effective ways to honor a lost loved one. The inaugural episode features Ohio’s Sharon Purdy, whose volunteer firefighter husband, Lee, died of a heart attack in the line of duty. Sharon used what she learned through this tragic experience to become an advocate for other family members—in fact, her efforts led to the expansion of the Hometown Heroes program that provides benefits to survivors of public safety officers. Sharon’s powerful story is just one example of the topics explored in the new series.
According to Beverly Donlon, Director of the NFFF’s Family Programs, a key goal of the new series is to “inspire listeners with messages of hope and healing, enabling them to gain coping skills by hearing from peers who have experienced tragic events.” Another aim is to inspire dialogue around contemporary issues related to grief, healing, and perseverance—and spark new ways of seeing the world and connecting with others. In each podcast, NFFF’s grief specialist, Jenny Woodall, participates in the conversation and helps to facilitate the telling of each story.
Overall, the new six-part series reveals stories from the perspective of varying ages, genders, and family roles. Each offers specific messages of inspiration, hope, and resilience for listeners who are experiencing grief or know someone who is. Through the generosity of Fire Hero Families sharing their own stories, NFFF intends for others to find hope during the holiday season—and beyond.