Helmets Placed at Locations Where D.C. Firefighters Answered Final Alarm

May 29, 2024
Plaques that accompany the gray helmets will direct people to a site to learn about the incident and the firefighter who died.

After Lt. Kevin McCrae died while battling a fire in 2015, someone painted a helmet gray and hung it from a lamp post outside the northwest building.

That anonymous tribute sparked Capt. Dennis Carmody's mission.

“Firefighters are on duty 24 hours a day and some of our firefighters who came to work never made it home to see their families,” Carmody told WUSA9. 

He's been collecting old helmets, ones that were likely headed to the dump, and painting them gray.

Over the next few months, they will now be placed at locations where firefighters answered their final alarms. Plaques with QR codes will direct people to a site to learn more about the incident.

Since 1856, 102 D.C. firefighters have died in the line of duty.

The greatest loss of life occurred in 1896 when five firefighters were killed at a fire at 8th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

“I'm really proud that we are keeping these firefighters' memories from being forgotten. It gives families and fellow firefighters an opportunity to recognize and remember privately the loss of our family members,” said Carmody as he fought back emotion. “It gives us comfort in knowing that if we ever are in situation where we pay the ultimate price that our sacrifice won't be forgotten either.”

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