OSWEGO, NY – The 30th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend will honor 10 New York State firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2010 and in previous years, including an Oswego firefighter.
They are among the 72 firefighters who died in 2010 and 17 firefighters who died in previous years who will be remembered at the official national service scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md.
Among them will be Firefighter Scott W. Davis of the Oswego Fire Department. He died after suffering a heart attack within 24 hours after several emergency responses on June 20, 2010.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security will sponsor the official national tribute on Sunday.
More than 6,000 people, including members of Congress and other dignitaries, are expected to attend the event.
The 2011 New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony will honor nine firefighters, from 1922 to 2010, who gave their lives in the line of duty.
That ceremony will be held Tuesday (Oct. 11) at 11 a.m. at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial, Empire State Plaza in Albany.
The NYS Fallen Firefighters Memorial was dedicated and unveiled in 1999 with the names of 1,805 fallen firefighters.
As of the 2011 ceremony, there will be 2,366 names on the wall.
Davis will be cited Saturday and Sunday in Maryland.
Some Oswego firefighters went to a national ceremony last month in Boulder, Colo., according to Oswego Fire Chief Jeff McCrobie.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It was a great ceremony, very moving. The memorial wall is like the Vietnam Wall,” he said.
Davis should have been honored at the state ceremony as well this year.
“But, there was a paperwork error. He fell through the cracks somewhere along the line. And so, he will be honored in 2012,” McCrobie explained.
No Oswego firefighter is going to either ceremony this week, he noted.
Some of his Davis’ family members might attend the national ceremony in Maryland, the chief said.
Davis, 46, was a veteran firefighter and critical care technician.
He had just come off duty and was visiting family downstate, according to John Geraci, president of the local firefighters’ union.
Since Davis died within 24 hours of coming off his shift, under the Hometown Heroes Law of 2003, the death is considered “in the line of duty,” he pointed out.
Firefighter Davis was a 14-year, well-respected member of the Oswego Fire Department, McCrobie said.
“It was a complete shock to all of us,” McCrobie said. “We were notified by some family members.”