Friday, October 1, 2010
In recognition of the 29th Annual National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service on Sunday, October 3, Governor Parkinson has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff throughout Kansas from sunup to sundown. The 29th Annual National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service will honor firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty during the previous year, 2009.
“On behalf of all Kansans, we are eternally grateful for the brave men and women who have risked their lives as firefighters to protect our communities and families,” said Parkinson. “This year we reflect on the enormous loss of two Kansas firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice last year - Dennis Simmons and Lyle Chester Lewis. I encourage citizens and businesses across the state to join me in honoring these two courageous Kansans along with the 78 other American firefighters who died in the line of duty.”
District Chief Simmons, 63, joined a number of different fire departments in responding to a wildland fire on April 21, 2009. Simmons assisted with firefighting efforts for several hours until he was relieved due to exhaustion. He suffered a heart attack shortly after leaving the scene and was transported to the hospital where he later died. District Chief Simmons served the Stafford County Fire Department as a volunteer and district chief.
Firefighter Lewis, 50, and other members of the Osborne County Rural Fire District #3, responded to a residential structure fire on June 16, 2009. Lewis entered the burning structure twice to extinguish flames inside the home and upon exiting, he was overheated and suffering from chest pains. He was transported to the hospital where medical professionals were unable to revive him.
The Governor has the authority to direct flags at half-staff in honor of the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service pursuant to Executive Order 10-12, which has been amended from Executive Order 07-22 to include National Firefighters Memorial Day.