Once again on Sunday, September 24, we gathered on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol for the annual Minnesota Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service.
This year, the importance of MnFIRE’s mission hit especially hard. The service honored two beloved members of the state’s fire service, both of whom died in the line of duty in the past year as a result of cardiac events. Hopkins Assistant Fire Chief James “Jimmy” Scanlon died Nov. 4, 2022, and St. Paul Fire Captain Chris Parsons died June 15, 2023. Chris was a founding board member of MnFIRE and a fervent champion for firefighter well-being, which will forever be part of his legacy.
During the ceremony, inscribed columns in their honor were added to the Minnesota Fallen Firefighter Memorial, and their families received flags that have been flown over the state capitol – and the thanks of a grateful state. Firefighters from across Minnesota joined Gov. Tim Walz and other dignitaries to honor all of Minnesota’s 244 fallen firefighters, including a special remembrance of fallen firefighters from Mapleton and St. Louis Park.
These tragic cardiac incidents are a solemn reminder about the vital work we’re doing to protect the heart health of each and every firefighter. With deep gratitude, we recognize Chris and Jimmy’s dedicated service, and our thoughts and prayers are with their family, friends and communities.
The memorial service is held each year on the last Sunday in September, which has been designated as the state’s official day to honor Minnesota’s fallen firefighters. Learn more about the fallen firefighters who were honored from FOX 9’s coverage of the ceremony.
The Minnesota Fire Service Foundation coordinates the effort to recognize the state’s firefighters who died in the line of duty and provides support and resources to fire departments, firefighters, and their families throughout Minnesota. Financial contributions to fund educational scholarships for children of active, retired, or deceased firefighters, and for spouses of deceased firefighters and support for firefighters and their families in times of need can be sent to:
Minnesota Fire Service Foundation c/o Security Bank & Trust Co.
591 Park Avenue, PO Box 157
Hamburg, MN 55339
Online contributions can be made at MNFireServiceFoundation.org. All contributions are tax deductible.