GFD Adds Two Members to the Honor Guard

February 5, 2016 02:23 PM
Firefighter A. Johnson
The Galesburg Fire Department sent six members to the Honor Guard Convention held in St. Charles, IL. It was an honor to have two new members inducted. Fire Fighters John Connour and Andrew Johnson joined the organization's ranks this last weekend. The convention also includes multiple types of training to bolster the knowledge of current members, including our members Firefighters Jeffrey Maher, Joe Brignall, Kyle Harms and Andrew Spataro. 
As members of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (AFFI) Honor Guard, they are expected to be at every possible firefighter line of duty death visitation and funeral service in the State of Illinois. In 2015, there were four line of duty death activations. The Galesburg Honor Guard members attended three of the services that were held in Urbana, Matteson and Chicago.

History of the Honor Guard

On January 30, 1993, Illinois union rank and file firefighters from across the state came together in Springfield. Under the direction of Jay Bishop from Springfield Local 37, these men organized a state wide Fire Fighter Honor Guard and as a line of duty death benefit, assist and guide in the conduction and performance of fallen fire fighter line of duty funeral services. They inducted the colors, the AFFI Flag and the AFFI Honor Guard Flag, presented honor guard rocker patches for the uniform and asked 69 firefighters to uphold and maintain the traditions of the fire service. At this time, the Honor Guard became the first state-wide Honor Guard of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). It has grown to become the single largest organized non-military Honor Guard in the country, with over 600 members strong and growing every year.
The Honor Guard follows the drill and ceremony practices of many military and Primary Federal Flag Code when they post the colors at events. The members participated in memorials from the National Fire Academy in Emmetsburg, MD to the IAFF Monument in Colorado Springs, CO. The Honor Guard presents the colors at the IAFF Convention, the AFFI Biennial Conventions, the Illinois Fallen Fire Fighter and Medal of Honor Ceremonies.
The AFFI Honor Guard services are available to any current firefighter within the State of Illinois if the family so chooses to use them. Guard members attending funerals are considered guests and are there to offer assistance to the local fire department and the family during the service of a fallen firefighter.


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