KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — A metro firefighter is one of the dozens who will be honored during a national remembrance ceremony later this week.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation holds the event to honor firefighters who lost their lives the previous year.
The 2022 tribute will honor the 148 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2021. It will also include several fallen firefighters who died in previous years but haven’t yet been honored by the organization.
Each firefighter’s name will be inscribed on a bronze plaque and become a permanent part of the National Memorial located in Maryland.
Captain Robert “Bobby” Rocha of the Kansas City Fire Department will be honored during the ceremony.
Rocha was 60 years old and a 29-year veteran of the department when he died of COVID-19 in November 2020.
Rocha is one of more than a half-dozen firefighters from Missouri and Kansas who will be honored during the ceremony. Others include:
- Malachi Abraham Brown died from injuries he suffered while fighting a fire in his hometown of Baxter Springs, Kansas. Brown died on Nov. 10, 2021, at the age of 32.
- Assistant Chief Bryant Gladney, 58, of the Boone County Fire Protection District, died on Dec. 21, 2021. He responded to a crash when a tractor-trailer hit his SUV at a high speed.
- Firefighter Rodney L. Heard, Sr., 56, of the St. Louis Fire Department, died on June 15, 2021. He passed away due to complications of COVID-19.
- Volunteer Firefighter James Dale “Jimmy” Jenkins, age 74, of the Belgrade Volunteer Fire Department, died on Dec. 3, 2021. He suffered a heart attack while responding to a fire in Potosi.
- Captain Ivan D. LaGrand, 54, of the Cape Girardeau Fire Department, died on Dec. 1, 2021. He passed away due to complications of COVID-19.
- Volunteer Battalion Chief Marvin F. Shaffrey, 55, of the Cedar Hill Fire Protection District, died on Nov. 2, 2021. He passed away due to complications of COVID-19.
- Firefighter/Paramedic Craig S. Shormas, 59, of the Monarch Fire Protection District, passed away on April 21, 2020. He died of complications of cancer, deemed by the state of Missouri to be in the line of duty.
The full list of all firefighters who will be honored this year is available on the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation website.
The memorial weekend begins Saturday, Oct. 8, with a candlelight service. The event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. CT.
Sunday, Oct. 9, the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service will take place. It begins at 9 a.m. CT. The event will be held at the National Fire Academy Campus in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
The service will also be streamed online on the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation webpage at firehero.org.