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Line of Duty Death Notification,
Assistance and Investigation Policy

NOTIFICATION

Notification of the IAFF Headquarters of a Line-of-Duty Death

In the event of a line-of-duty death, the local union must notify the IAFF District Vice President and the IAFF and be prepared to supply the following information:

  • Member’s full name
  • Member’s age at death
  • Member’s rank
  • IAFF membership number
  • Date of death
  • Cause of death (if known)
  • Name/Address/Telephone number of spouse (married); parents (single) or next of kin.
  • Names/Ages of children
  • Local union number, President, Address/Telephone number
  • Local union officer serving as PSOB contact
  • Name/Address/Telephone number of mayor/local jurisdiction official
  • Name/Address/Telephone number of fire chief
  • Name of fire department
  • Funeral arrangements (dates, times, and locations)

Click here to report a line-of-duty death.

Upon receipt of the above information, the General President notifies the General Secretary-Treasurer who notifies, by email and facsimile, all IAFF Vice Presidents, State/Provincial Associations, and when requested, local affiliates.  The Vice President of the district where the death occurred will be immediately contacted by email and telephone.  Also, when a line-of-duty death notice is sent to the Vice Presidents the full funeral home address and telephone number will be listed in order for flowers to be sent.

Upon receipt of the above information, the Division of Occupational Health, Safety & Medicine, prepares and sends appropriate notifications and condolences from the General President to the following:

  • President of the United States/Prime Minister of Canada
  • Senators or Member of Parliament from Deceased’s State/Province
  • Congressman or MLA/MPP from Deceased’s Congressional District/Riding
  • U.S. Secretary of Labor
  • Governor of State/Provincial Premier
  • Mayor/Local Jurisdiction Official
  • Fire Chief
  • Local Union President
  • Appropriate Family Member(s)

The IAFF Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine notifies the following:

  • All IAFF Departments, including the IAFF Canadian Office which notifies appropriate Federal and Provincial government officials.
  • United States Fire Administration
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (PSOB)
  • IAFF Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial
  • IAFF PSOB Coordinator
  • IAFF Chaplain
  • NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Program

Appropriate letters have been developed and electronically maintained for all above categories.  Files are maintained in the IAFF Office for later use (e.g. for the IAFF Death and Injury Survey). The IAFF Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine maintains a computerized data bank of all IAFF line-of-duty deaths.  

U.S. PSOB Claims

Upon receipt of the above information, the IAFF Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine provides the local union with appropriate information on the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program.

The IAFF Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine notifies the PSOB Coordinator of the line-of-duty death and provides the PSOB Coordinator with the above information.

When necessary, and upon the request of the District Vice President, the General President assigns the PSOB Coordinator to assist the local union with the PSOB claim.

The PSOB Coordinator coordinates with the District Vice President and the Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine in working with the local union and the family to assure timely filing of the PSOB claim.

Upon completion of the PSOB case and award of claim, the PSOB Coordinator forwards the claim file to IAFF Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine office for storage and future use.  The IAFF Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine maintains all IAFF member claims and benefits since 1976.

Representatives at the Funeral for a Single Line-of-Duty Death

IAFF attendance at a line-of-duty funeral will include the IAFF District Vice President for the local jurisdiction and, where appropriate, representatives designated and approved by the General President. 

IAFF Delegation at the Funerals for Multiple Line-of-Duty Deaths

A delegation of IAFF representatives at a line-of-duty funeral where multiple deaths occurred shall include the General President, the General Secretary-Treasurer, the Chairman of the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Committee, the District Vice President where the death occurred and a contingent of District Vice Presidents and a Trustee in adjacent geographical districts as follows:

Line-of-Duty Death in District 1, 3, 4 or 12

  • Vice President, IAFF District 1

  • Vice President, IAFF District 3

  • Vice President, IAFF District 4

  • Vice President, IAFF District 12

  • Vice President, IAFF District 15

  • Eastern Trustee

Line-of-Duty Death in District 2, 5, 8 or 14

  • Vice President, IAFF District 2

  • Vice President, IAFF District 5

  • Vice President, IAFF District 8

  • Vice President, IAFF District 14

  • Vice President, IAFF District 13

  • Eastern Trustee when in District 8 or 14

  • Western Trustee when in District 2 or 5

Line-of-Duty Death in District 7, 9, 10 or 11

  • Vice President, IAFF District 7

  • Vice President, IAFF District 9

  • Vice President, IAFF District 10

  • Vice President, IAFF District 11

  • Vice President, IAFF District 6

  • Western Trustee

Line-of-Duty Death in District 6, 13, or 15

  • Vice President, IAFF District 6

  • Vice President, IAFF District 13

  • Vice President, IAFF District 15

  • Vice President, IAFF District 1, when in District 15

  • Vice President, IAFF District 5, when in District 13

  • Vice President, IAFF District 7, when in District 6

  • Canadian Trustee

Line-of-Duty Death in District 16

  • Vice President, IAFF District 16

  • Representative District Vice Presidents and the Trustee based on the District where the federal LODD occurred as outlined above.

 

The General President shall have the discretion to increase the delegation of IAFF Executive Board members when due to extenuating circumstances such additional representation is warranted.

 

The General President shall also have the discretion to approve attendance at any funeral if such attendance is requested by a District Vice President.

Martin E. Pierce Commemorative Line-of-Duty Death Medal

In honor of fire fighters that die in the line-of-duty, the IAFF presents the Martin E. Pierce Commemorative Line-of-Duty Death medal to the family of the deceased.  In such cases, the President of the deceased member’s local union, or the local president’s designee, is responsible for notifying the IAFF as soon as possible that a medal is required.

The surviving spouse or family member of all IAFF members killed in the line-of-duty on or after the August 5, 1990, passage of 1990 Convention Resolution 85 are eligible to receive an IAFF commemorative medal on behalf of all the members of the IAFF at no cost.  Affiliates wishing to obtain a commemorative medal for the spouse or family members of an IAFF member, who was killed in the line-of-duty prior to the date of adoption of Resolution 85, must make such a request through the International General President.  Upon approval, the local may purchase a medal from the IAFF at cost.

Definition of Line-of-Duty Death

For the purposes of this medal, the line-of-duty death of an IAFF member is defined as one of the following:

  • Any death of an IAFF member where the deceased member’s family would be eligible for a line-of-duty death benefit under the regulations of the U.S. Public Safety Officers’ Benefits program.
  • Any death of an IAFF member that has been determined to be a line-of-duty death by his or her local fire department or employer.
  • Any death of an IAFF member where the member died of an injury or illness incurred while engaged in emergency or non-emergency duties on the job or as a result of the job.
  • Other cases where a local president makes a formal request to the General President, who will evaluate the circumstances surrounding the death of the IAFF member and make a determination based on the facts.  Such cases could include the death of an IAFF member resulting from an injury or illness incurred while performing fire fighting or emergency medical duties as a “Good Samaritan” while off duty, or other similar circumstances.

Medal Presentation

The method of presenting the medal to the surviving spouse or family member of a deceased IAFF member depends upon the individual circumstances, the wishes of the family, and the advice of the local union. It is incumbent upon the local union to communicate with the deceased’s family to determine whether it is appropriate to present the medal during the funeral service, during the memorial service, at graveside, or at some other location or later date. It is the responsibility of the local union president, or the local president’s designee, to contact the IAFF as soon as possible to inform of the decision on when the medal will be presented.

Depending on the circumstances, the wishes of the family, and input from the local union, the medal will be presented to the family of a deceased IAFF member by the local president or other designated officer of the deceased member’s local. In the case of multiple line-of-duty fatalities, the local union president or the local president’s designee may request that the General President, the General Secretary-Treasurer, or the respective District Vice President make the medal presentation for that local.

Order of Entitlement

  • In the event of a line-of-duty death, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive the commemorative medal. 
  • In the event that the spouse is deceased or otherwise unavailable, the child of the deceased member is entitled to receive the medal.
  • In the event of multiple children, the oldest child is the recipient.
  • If there is neither a surviving spouse nor child, the parent(s) of the deceased member receives the medal.
  • If there were no spouse, child, or parent, the oldest sibling of the deceased member would receive the medal.

IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial

In the week following the member’s death, the United States and Canadian National Flags, along with the Colorado and member’s State/Provincial Flag are to be flown at half-mast at the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The names of all IAFF members who died in the line-of-duty will be inscribed on the memorial’s Wall of Honor.  The IAFF shall honor these members during the annual ceremony at the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Grounds.  The ceremony will be held in September of each year and will honor those that died during the previous year ending on June 1.  During the ceremony, each honored member’s name will be read and the family or family representative will receive the IAFF flag in a walnut and glass presentation case.

The Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial will notify the local affiliate and family of the ceremony and collect necessary information for the memorial program and for assisting with program logistics.

IAFF International Firefighter Last Alarm

The names of all IAFF members who die in the line-of-duty will be published in the LAST ALARM section of the International Firefighter.

IAFF Website

LODD notification and funeral information will be posted on the IAFF website’s home page and such information will remain active until the day after the final funeral services.  The names of all IAFF members who die in the line-of-duty will be maintained on the website. The IAFF will also maintain a web-based Distribution List service, which allows members to receive line-of-duty-death announcements via email.  The IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial webpage will include all members names that have been inscribed on the Fallen Fire Fighter Wall of Honor.

Line-of-Duty Death Investigation

The IAFF General President may authorize a line-of-duty death investigation for any incident where there has been multiple deaths, a single death with unusual circumstances, or an incident of serious fire fighter injuries with unusual circumstances.  An investigation may be authorized if there is any reason to suspect any one or more of the following conditions:

  • The collective bargaining agreement between the jurisdiction and the IAFF local affiliate was violated;
  • The fire department produced a biased or inaccurate investigation report;
  • Standard operating procedures or fire department policies were nonexistent or not followed properly;
  • Applicable OSHA, NFPA or other relevant standards were violated;
  • Personal protective clothing or equipment was implicated as being causal in the incident;
  • The IAFF local union believes compelling facts surrounding the incident warrant an investigation; or
  • The General President believes a line-of-duty death investigation is necessary.

The District Vice President for the local jurisdiction will be kept apprised of any investigation.

IAFF's Front Line Policy

In some circumstances, a line of duty death may have been caused by the negligence or intentional acts of a third party.  Family members may intend to pursue a suit against the third party.  Where an affiliate officer believes that a traumatic line of duty death, or serious traumatic injury, of an IAFF member may have been caused by negligence or intentional wrongdoing, the officer should contact the District Vice President regarding the IAFF's Front Line Policy.  The IAFF's Front Line Policy was created to make available legal representation by and/or through the IAFF's General Counsel's Office for legal cases in which it is determined that the IAFF and/or its members have a significant interest arising from the death or serious injury of an IAFF member because of: (a) defective products; or (b) the negligence of a third party.
 

 

The Line-of-Duty Death Reporting Protocol was first adopted by the IAFF Executive Board in January 1989.  The IAFF Commemorative Medal was authorized by action of the 40th IAFF Convention in August, 1990 when delegates adopted Resolution 85.  The IAFF Executive Board adopted the protocol for qualification and presentation of the medal in December, 1992.  The IAFF Commemorative Medal was named the IAFF Martin E. Pierce Commemorative Medal in honor and memory of Secretary-Treasurer Martin E. Pierce at the 43rd IAFF Convention in August 1996.  The IAFF Executive Board adopted the IAFF Investigation Policy in July, 1997.  The IAFF Executive Board revised and adopted the IAFF Line-of-Duty Death Notification, Assistance, and Investigation Policy in July 1997.  The IAFF LODD Reporting Initiative and the IAFF LODD database policies were adopted at the 45th IAFF Convention in August 2000.  The policy was further reviewed and revised by the IAFF Executive Board Occupational Safety and Health Committee and Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Committee.  It was approved by the IAFF Executive Board in May 2003.  This Policy was further revised to address IAFF delegations for multiple LODD funerals by the IAFF Executive Board Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Committee.  The revision was approved by the Executive Board in June 2009.  In June 2010, the policy was revised by the IAFF Executive Board to include information on the IAFF's Front Line Policy.

 

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