Responders Ready for EMS Memorial in Colo.
For the first time, the National EMS Memorial Service on Saturday will be streamed live.

By Susan Nicol Kyle -
Firehouse.com News

In a couple of days, EMS personnel who gave the ultimate sacrifice while performing their duties will be honored in Colorado Springs, Colo.

For the first time, the National EMS Memorial Service on Saturday will be streamed live.

Watch Memorial Service Live on Saturday
"We've always wanted to provide live coverage. The church we are going to has that capability," said Kevin Dillard, NEMSMS president.

He added that 26 people who died in the line of duty will be honored during the ceremony set for 6 p.m. (GMT) or 8 p.m. (EST) Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs.

The service was moved from Roanoke, Va. to Colorado Springs where a permanent memorial to EMS heroes will be erected.

Dillard said he is hoping for a good turnout, nonetheless.

"The majority of the heroes' families have registered," he said. "I also hope there will be a good crowd. But, we understand with the tough economic time, some may not be able to attend this year."

People will have the opportunity to visit the park where the memorial will be located. Dillard called the view "breath-taking."

The public will be able to give their ideas to a design team, which may be hired in the near future.

"Once they are in place, we will be asking people what their visions and thoughts are for the national memorial," Dillard said.

NEMSMS staff has planned a full weekend to honor the fallen heroes.

Bicyclists will hold a brief ceremony at 7 a.m. Friday at AIRLIFE Memorial Park in Littleton. The site was created to remember the victims of a 1997 crash of an AIRLIFE helicopter and a related vehicle crash.

At about 7:30, the 86 riders from across the country will set out on the 83 mile journey to Colorado Springs.

"We've had tremendous support from students at three colleges in the area," said Jennifer Frenette, president of Muddy Angels.

In addition to honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, the riders want to call attention to the EMS profession.

Last month -- during EMS week -- bicyclists left from Kentucky and New Hampshire to honor their fellow colleagues. The groups rendezvoused in Alexandria, Va. where they held a brief remembrance ceremony.

Dillard said the families of the fallen heroes will be waiting to greet the bicyclists when they arrive in Colorado Springs. "We will have a service, and a casual dinner in a park," he added.

On Saturday, NEMSMS staff will host a luncheon for the families. "This has been very well-received. It gives people a chance to meet one another in a casual setting. We will give them an idea how the service will go," Dillard said.

During the 18th annual memorial service, families will be presented with a U.S. flag, a white rose and a medal bearing their hero's name.

On Sunday morning, families, friends and co-workers will have the opportunity to share stories about their loved ones during the traditional remembrance breakfast.

"We've received many, many compliments,'' he said, adding that the remarks bring both tears and smiles.

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