The 2023 Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service

The 2023 Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service

The 26th annual Virginia Fallen Firefighters & Emergency Medical Services Memorial Service will be held at 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at the Richmond International Raceway Complex, Main Exhibition Hall. This event is open to the public. 

The Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service will be streamed live for those who cannot attend in person.

This year's Memorial Service will honor Fallen Firefighters who have been recognized in the Virginia Line of Duty Act in 2023 for their bravery and dedication to the citizens of the Commonwealth.


About the 2023 Memorial Service 

The Memorial Service will include a keynote address, a Virginia Fire Services Honor Guard procession, a musical performance, and a fire and EMS apparatus display from departments throughout the Commonwealth. State flags will be presented to the families of the fallen.

Contacts

For more information on the Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service, contact VDFP PIO Will Merritt at (804) 249-1986 or william.merritt@vdfp.virginia.gov.

“Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape” by following these safety tips

"Fire Won't Wait, Plan Your Escape" by following these safety tips

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (October 14, 2022) – As National Fire Prevention Week comes to an end, the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) reminds Virginians that fire prevention is not just a week-long event but a year-round focus.

“Fire education is not just for children,” said Ken Brown, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator. “National Fire Prevention Week is about making sure everyone – kids, adults and seniors – understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.”

Follow these ten safety tips to keep you and your family safe:

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside of each bedroom
  2. Create a home escape plan with your family and routinely practice fire drills together
  3. Establish an outdoor meeting place for your family to gather in the event of a fire
  4. Test smoke alarms every month and change batteries at least once a year
  5. Keep a fire extinguisher in your home
  6. Store matches and lighters in a safe spot and out of reach from children
  7. Never leave a burning candle unattended
  8. Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn
  9. Use electricity safely by never overloading circuits and replacing cracked or frayed cords
  10. Have your furnace and chimney inspected and cleaned every year

The 2022 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires. This week, VDFP released fire safety tips to help Virginians be prepared in case of an emergency:

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“Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape” by closing your door before you doze

"Fire Won't Wait, Plan Your Escape" by closing your door before you doze

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (October 13, 2022) – Did you know that closing your doors can reduce fire growth, limit damage and can even save your life if you become trapped during a fire? That is today’s tip from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) as part of National Fire Prevention Week.

According to the Fire Safety Research Institute, a closed door can make a 900 degree difference with an open-door room reaching 1,000 degrees compared to 100 degrees in a closed-door room.

“Make closing bedroom doors part of your routine,” said Ken Brown, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator. “Fire needs oxygen to burn and a closed door helps prevent the fire from getting more oxygen.”

For more information, visit the Fire Safety Research Institute’s “Close Before You Doze” webpage for more information: closeyourdoor.org

The 2022 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires. Each day, VDFP will release fire safety tips to help Virginians be prepared in case of an emergency.

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“Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape” by conducting home fire drills twice a year

"Fire Won't Wait, Plan Your Escape" by conducting home fire drills twice a year

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (October 12, 2022) – Today’s tip from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) for National Fire Prevention Week is to practice home fire drills at least twice a year.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, while 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47% of those have practiced it.

“A home escape plan that is regularly practiced saves lives,” said Ken Brown, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator. “Walking through the plan – just like kids practice fire drills at school – ensures everyone knows how to escape if the smoke alarm sounds.”

Follow these steps to protect you and your family:

  1. Practice home fire drills at least twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day and practice using different ways out.
  2. Children should be taught what to do when they hear a smoke alarm and there is no adult around. Show them how to exit by crawling on the ground and using the back of their hand to check doors for heat before opening and to use a different way if the door is hot.
  3. To conduct the drill, sound the smoke alarm and start the timer. Once everyone gets to the meeting place, stop the timer. If everybody made it out in two minutes, celebrate. If not, give it another try.

The 2022 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires. Each day, VDFP will release fire safety tips to help Virginians be prepared in case of an emergency.

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“Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape” by knowing two ways out of every room

"Fire Won't Wait, Plan Your Escape" by knowing two ways out of every room

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (October 11, 2022) – As National Fire Prevention Week continues, the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) urges Virginia residents to make an escape plan with two ways out of every room.

According to the NFPA, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.

“Fire moves fast and every second counts when you need to get out,” said Ken Brown, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator. “Developing a home fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room and meets the needs of your family is extremely important.”

Follow these steps to protect you and your family:

  1. As a family, draw a map of the layout of your home. Include all doors and windows. You can use this grid from the U.S. Fire Administration
  2. Find two ways out of every room in case one way is blocked by fire
  3. Teach children how to escape on their own in case an adult can’t help them
  4. Make sure doors and windows open easily and are not blocked by furniture
  5. Choose an outside meeting place such as the end of your driveway or your mailbox
  6. Assign someone to call 911 once everyone is out
  7. Make sure the address of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find

The 2022 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires. Each day, VDFP will release fire safety tips to help Virginians be prepared in case of an emergency.

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“Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape” by installing and testing smoke alarms

"Fire Won't Wait, Plan Your Escape" by installing and testing smoke alarms

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (October 10, 2022) – National Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15 and the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) reminds Virginia residents to check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in their home.

The 2022 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires.

Working smoke alarms are an essential part of any home fire escape plan. According to the NFPA, three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.

“You may have as little as two minutes – or even less time – to safely get out of your home during a fire,” said Ken Brown, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator. “A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm greatly increases your chances of surviving a home fire.”

Follow these tips to protect you and your family:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas
  • Choose interconnected smoke alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound
  • Test smoke alarms monthly by pushing the “test” button and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it
  • Check the manufacturer’s date. If the alarm is 10 years or older, it needs to be replaced
  • Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do if it goes off

VDFP is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week. Each day, VDFP will release fire safety tips to help Virginians be prepared in case of an emergency.

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State Fire Marshal’s Office Stresses Firework Safety During the Fourth of July Holiday

State Fire Marshal’s Office Stresses Firework Safety During the Fourth of July Holiday

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (June 29, 2022) - The Virginia Department of Fire Programs-State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) urges Virginians ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend to leave fireworks to the professionals.

In general, any firework that explodes, moves on the ground or in the air, or shoots a projectile is illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Only “permissible fireworks,” as defined in the Code of Virginia, can be legally sold, possessed or used within the Commonwealth. A list of permissible fireworks can be viewed on the VDFP website.

Many localities prohibit the sale, possession or use of all fireworks. The State Fire Marshal’s Office advises Virginians to check local ordinances as well as the Statewide Fire Prevention Code prior to purchasing and utilizing fireworks.

VDFP’s State Fire Marshal’s Office serves as the fire code enforcement sector of the state government training agency. Roughly 125 retail locations were inspected by SFMO in 2021, where nearly one-third locations were found to be selling non-permissible fireworks. In 2021, more than 10,000 non-permissible fireworks were confiscated that were either for sale, or in possession.

“We urge Virginians to leave fireworks to the professionals,” said Billy Hux, VDFP Assistant State Fire Marshal of Special Operations. “As in years past, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Local Fire Marshals and Local Law Enforcement will be out inspecting retail locations to ensure items being sold meet the Code of Virginia definition for Permissible Fireworks.”

The sale, possession and/or use of any fireworks not classified as permissible is prohibited. Violations can be prosecuted as a Class I Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,500 and/or up to one (1) year in jail. Any illegal fireworks can be confiscated and you can be summoned by a Fire Marshal or Law Enforcement Officer.

If you decide to use permissible fireworks, please follow these important safety procedures:

  • If you have fireworks, make sure they are on the 2022 Virginia Permissible Fireworks List
  • Check local ordinances on the use of fireworks
  • Fireworks can only be used on private property with the consent of the owner
  • Never use fireworks indoors or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Ensure adequate clearance from people, buildings and combustible material
  • Have a garden hose or other water source readily available in case of fire
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Never hold the fireworks in your hands while lighting them
  • Never point fireworks at a person

If you wish to report illegal fireworks, contact your local police department or contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (540) 270-6617.

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Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service Scheduled for June 4

Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service Scheduled for June 4

Annual service to be held in the Exhibition Hall at the Richmond Raceway Complex

RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) invites the public to attend the 2022 Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service on Saturday, June 4 at the Richmond Raceway Complex.
The memorial service will begin at noon in the Main Exhibition Hall. The Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service will be streamed live for those who cannot attend in person. Visit: 2022 Virginia Fire & EMS Memorial Service live stream - YouTube.
The service will honor four fallen firefighters:
  • Lyndell N. Woods – Fort Lewis Volunteer Fire Department
  • Lawrence J. Phipps, Sr. – Hanover Fire and EMS
  • Todd A. Landreth – Norfolk Airport Fire Department
  • Sean H. Land – Virginia Beach Fire Department
Now in its 25th year, the Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service was established to honor firefighters and EMS personnel who perished in the line of duty, in accordance with the Virginia Line of Duty Act (§ 9.1-400).
Emergency response personnel, government officials, and public safety members gather to celebrate the courage and dedication of each honoree. The Memorial Service includes a keynote address, a Virginia Fire Services Honor Guard procession, a musical performance, and a fire and EMS apparatus display from departments throughout the Commonwealth.

The 2022 Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service

2022 Virginia Fallen Firefighters and EMS Memorial Service Information

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The 2022 Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service

The 25th annual Virginia Fallen Firefighters & Emergency Medical Services Memorial Service will be held at 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at the Richmond International Raceway Complex, Main Exhibition Hall. This event is open to the public. 

The Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service will be streamed live for those who cannot attend in person. Visit: 2022 Virginia Fire & EMS Memorial Service live stream - YouTube.

This year's Memorial Service will honor Fallen Firefighters who have been recognized in the Virginia Line of Duty Act in 2022 for their bravery and dedication to the citizens of the Commonwealth.

2022 Honorees 

  • Sean H. Land - Virginia Beach Fire Department
  • Todd A. Landreth - Norfolk International Airport Fire Department
  • Lawrence J. Phipps - Hanover Fire and EMS
  • Lyndell N. Woods - Fort Lewis Vol Fire Department

About the 2022 Memorial Service 

The Memorial Service will include a keynote address, a Virginia Fire Services Honor Guard procession, a musical performance, and a fire and EMS apparatus display from departments throughout the Commonwealth. State flags will be presented to the families of the fallen.

Honor Guard 

Individuals or departments interested in Honor Guard participation should contact Toby Martin at Tmartin@roanokecountyva.gov

Sending Apparatus

If your department is interested in sending apparatus to the Memorial Service, please contact Memorial Service Committee Member Floyd Greene at floydpowhatan@gmail.com.

Contacts

For more information on the Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service, contact VDFP PIO Will Merritt at (804) 249-1986 or william.merritt@vdfp.virginia.gov.

Garrett Dyer Appointed as Executive Director

Garrett Dyer Appointed as Executive Director of VDFP

RICHMOND – March 18, 2022 – Governor Glenn Youngkin announced the appointment of Garrett Dyer as Executive Director of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.

Dyer, who has served as Acting Executive Director since January 2021, will oversee 79 full-time employees and more than 300 adjunct instructors used to deliver more than 130 courses to Virginia’s fire service. In addition, he will manage the enforcement provisions of the Statewide Fire Prevention Code.

Dyer is an accomplished public safety professional with more than 35 years of fire and emergency service experience. He began his career with the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department and became a career firefighter and nationally registered paramedic with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Dyer served in Fairfax County for 30 years and rose through the ranks to Assistant Fire Chief. He joined VDFP in 2018 as the Virginia Fire Marshal Academy Chief before becoming the State Fire Marshal.

Dyer received his bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland University College. He received his paramedic training from George Washington University and law enforcement training from the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy. Dyer is a graduate of Leadership Fairfax and the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia – Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.