A Special Salute to America’s Fallen Firefighters

Protecting first responders is central to the work we do every day, and we have a long history of supporting organizations whose values align with ours. Many of our employees are first responders themselves and it’s an important part of our company culture and identity. That’s why we’re proud to support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and excited to share that together, we teamed up with Richard Childress Racing (RCR), and Whelen Motorsports to create a moving tribute in honor of fallen fire heroes.

On Saturday, October 8th, RCR driver Sheldon Creed and the No. 2 Whelen Chevy Camaro debuted a special paint scheme at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Race. The paint scheme was a moving and powerful tribute that included the names of 148 firefighters killed in the line of duty in 2021 and in previous years. All 148 names were memorialized on the deck lid of the car. “The No. 2 Whelen Chevy looked amazing with the special NFFF tribute,” said Creed.I was extremely honored to carry the names of the fallen heroes on my car,” he continued.  

RCR’s No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet unveils National Fallen Firefighters Foundation paint scheme at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 8, 2022.

“What an amazing event!” exclaimed Bill Hinton, Program Manager at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation of Saturday’s race. “It was a pleasure to collaborate with Whelen and RCR to create this special tribute to the 148 firefighters being honored at this year’s National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service,” he continued. “There is no doubt that the family and friends of the fallen heroes were honored to see their loved one’s names on the No. 2 Chevy,” he added.

The names of 148 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2021 and previous years are memorialized on the No. 2 deck lid.

The touching salute holds special meaning to many Whelen employees too.

“It was an honor to be part of the collaboration between the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Richard Childress Racing, and Whelen Motorsports,” said Whelen Engineering’s Director of Fire, EMS, and Amber Sales, Matt Kehoe. “We’re honored to bring support and awareness to this important foundation,” he stated.The No. 2 car and the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service inspired many heartfelt connections on race day as people gathered to honor and remember the 148 firefighters killed in the line of duty,” Kehoe finished.  

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation was created by the U.S. Congress to lead nationwide efforts in remembering America’s fallen fire heroes. Since its inception, NFFF has also expanded to provide vital assistance for the families and colleagues of the fallen and to work with fire and safety organizations to reduce preventable firefighter deaths and injuries. Click HERE to learn more about the history of NFFF and about the great work it’s doing in honoring our nation’s fallen heroes.

This year also marks the 41st Annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend. Thousands of attendees gathered in Emmitsburg on October 8th and 9th for ceremonies to commemorate and honor the fallen. Events included a candlelight vigil, family activities, and the 2022 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. All 148 names from NFFF’s 2022 Roll of Honor were added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and read aloud during the emotional service.

If you’d like to support NFFF’s philanthropic and educational initiatives, please consider donating. Contributions can be easily made right from your phone by texting the word FIREHERO to 44-321 or online HERE.