Honor Guard
The Concept of the US Forest Service "Honor Guard" first surfaced in 1998, and launched in 1999.  Several employees in Southern California joined together and designed the program and uniform which honored the history of the Forest Service. The Stetson hat along with the dark green uniform represents early Agency attire. The "Ike" jacket from the 50’s also honors the old traditional uniform from days past.
Over the years, the Honor Guard has represented the Agency at awards ceremonies, memorials and funerals of fallen comrades in the Line of Duty, parades, as well as special events. It has proven itself to be a key component in professionally representing the Agency both internally and externally. They have built a reputation nationally for being one of the finest Honor Guard organizations, and are highly relied on for high profile events.

Over the past decade, the Honor Guard has become ingrained as an essential part of the Agency; paying tribute to employees who dedicate their time, skills and efforts to make the Forest Service successful. In 2010, the Honor Guard was adopted as a National Program and is working towards having representation nationwide.  

History of the Brush Hook

The chainsaw has replaced the Brush Hook as the primary tool on the fire line. Today, the brush hook symbolizes leadership and strength; it was used by hotshot crews and firemen of a historical era to open the fire line ahead of the rest of the crew. Only those with the responsibility to lead were given the task to swing the hook, as it required the utmost strength, stamina, and knowledge to blaze the trail leading the crew to fight the fire.

The brush hook has a proud history and tradition, it is carried by the Honor Guard in parades, but, more importantly as a sign of respect in funerals to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and died in the line of duty.

The brush hook is presented to those men and women who have demonstrated Duty, Respect, and Integrity to the fire service, leaders who have paid their due in countless battles, who are admired and respected by their peers.

The Bell Ceremony (Last Alarm)

The men and women of today's fire service are confronted with a more dangerous work
environment than ever before. We are forced to continually change our strategies and tactics to accomplish our tasks.

Our methods may change, but our goals remain the same as they were in the past, to save lives and to protect property, sometimes at a terrible cost. This is what we do, this is our chosen profession, this is the tradition of the fire fighter.

The fire service of today is ever changing, but is steeped in traditions 200 years old. One such tradition is the sound of a bell.

In the past, as fire fighters began their tour of duty, it was the bell that signaled the beginning of that day's shift. Throughout the day and night, each alarm was sounded by a bell, which summoned these brave souls to fight fires and to place their lives in jeopardy for the good of their fellow citizen. And when the fire was out and the alarm had come to an end, it was the bell that signaled to all the completion of that call. When a fire fighter had died in the line of duty, paying the supreme sacrifice, it was the mournful toll of the bell that solemnly announced a comrades passing.

We utilize these traditions as symbols, which reflect honor and respect on those who have given so much and who have served so well. To symbolize the devotion that these brave souls had for their duty, a special signal of three rings, three times each, represents the end of our comrades' duties and that they will be returning to quarters. And so, to those who have selflessly given their lives for the good of their fellow man, their tasks completed, their duties well done, to our comrades, their last alarm, they are going home.

Flag Presentation
This is one of the flags that
 will be presented during
the Twisp River Fire Memorial

The Forest Service flags  presented at memorials are flown first at the person's home unit, usually with all the District employees in attendance.  That flag is the one presented to the family by the Honor Guard or another person chosen by the family.

US flags are presented at the family's private funeral. These are the flags that remain with the individual from the time of death and draped over their casket, until the formal flag folding and presentation to the family, at the funeral.

Wildland Firefighter Foundation Statue

"Spirit of the Wildland Community", is a replica of the Pulaski statue at the National Wildland Firefighter Memorial in Boise, Idaho.  The original life-size statue is a public memorial that represents all wildland firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty.  

All immediate family members who have lost a loved one fighting a wildland fire, receive a one-foot tall replica of the statue, called a maquette, during the memorial.  The replica statue is made out of bronze, stands on a wooden base with the name of the fallen engraved on a gold name plate which is attached to the base of the statue. The Foundation has never been in fallen firefighter home where the statue is not prominently displayed.

Crossed Ladders & Cordon of Honor

In a formal LODD funeral, there are often two aerial ladder trucks crossing extended ladders or booms, located at the entrance to the memorial venue, with the American flag hanging from the apex of the extended ladders. The tradition of two aerial trucks up with their ladder tips touching, and an American flag hanging from them, is a symbol of the Firefighter’s bridge to the next life.  Behind the ladders at the Twisp River Fire Memorial, will be the Cordon of Honor. Uniformed personnel from 50 to 60 agencies will line up and salute along both sides of the drive with the host agency, in this case the Forest Service, closest to the ladders. It's a moving tribute and often the first time the families will view the show of respect and honor being paid to the fallen.