Editor's Note: Firehouse Associate Editor Susan Nicol was sent to Texas following the tragic blast on Wednesday night. Stay with Firehouse.com for exclusive stories and more. Find full coverage of the West, Texas, Tragedy here.
WEST, TEXAS -- Honor guards and firefighters from across the country are or have made plans to attend the memorial service Thursday for the responders killed in the fertilizer plant explosion.
Prior to the 2 p.m. service at Baylor University, there will be a procession of personnel as well as parade of apparatus.
The command post for the out-of-town firefighters is at the West Volunteer Fire Department on Reagan Street.
The Red Cross is planning to open a shelter to house them, said Jim Byers, who is helping to coordinate the effort on behalf of the Texas LODD Task Force.
In addition, some people have paid for rooms in nearby hotels.
Byers said firefighters or honor guards with questions should contact Levi Clemens at 817-980-8277.
On Monday afternoon, plans for the honors were announced.
Firefighters bringing apparatus to be used in the procession should report from 6-9 a.m. at the staging area at the old HEB terminal, 2501 S. University Parks Dr., Waco.
All uniformed personnel wishing to walk in the procession to the Ferrell Center need to report to the same staging area between 6-10. There will be parking and security for vehicles.
Officials said they understand that not all firefighters have a class A uniform. So, Byers expects some firefighters participating will be wearing their department shirts.
Flags are being encouraged, and there will be a place at the Ferrell Center to store the items during the service.
The apparatus parade will begin moving from the staging area to the Ferrell Center at 11 a.m., while the walkers will step off at noon.
All uniformed personnel will begin seating by 1 p.m. Doors will open for the public after that.
While there may be refreshments available -- provided by many local churches and organizations -- personnel also are encouraged to bring their own.