No more room for fallen Texas firefighters at memorial

Firefighter memorial. (Natalie Hee/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A memorial that honors fallen Texas firefighters has run out of room for new names.

The Volunteer Firemen’s Monument on the south side of the Texas State Capitol grounds is the only memorial that honors firefighters who have died in the line of duty. The last name added to the memorial was in 2012. Since then new names have been added to a temporary granite slab on the ground.

Volunteer Firemen Monument expansion plans.
Volunteer Firemen Monument expansion plans.

The organization needs to raise $150,000 to build an expansion for more names.

“Around the monument, we have low level hedges that we plan to take out and put granite pieces,” said Chris Barron, executive director of State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal’s Association of Texas. “On the front slate of the granite pieces will be the names of those fallen firefighters.”

Barron estimates about six volunteer firefighters die in the line of duty each year.

“Seventy-eight percent of the firefighters are volunteer based, and this is one way to recognize those people and their contributions to the state,” said Barron. “They don’t get paid. They don’t get any type of bonus or pay check. If we can at least put their names on something if they give the ultimate sacrifice, then this is the way to do it.”

The names of firefighters from 2013 still need to be added to the memorial, including the names of firefighters killed in the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.

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