Connecticut Statewide Honor Guard
The Connecticut Statewide Honor Guard (CTHG) is comprised of volunteer and career firefighters from across our state. These active and retired firefighters give freely of their own time to honor the fire service with a desire is to see that the highest honor is paid to our fallen brothers and sisters, and to their family.
This organization has been established to bring about consistency in the planning and ceremonial activities related to fire department funeral services. The emotional impact at such a time can be overwhelming. To have a resource available to use as a guide is a great relief to those involved in the planning and implementation of such an event. Our mission is to help our fellow firefighters take care of their own.
CTHG is a part of Connecticut’s Local Assistance State Team (LAST), a Federal Department of Justice initiative established to assist families with the benefits process and getting through the tough times of grieving. Other support functions of the LAST team include the Chief to Chief Network, Chaplain support, Peer support and awareness, and Survivor support.
The Statewide Honor Guard will provide resources and guidance to any fire department affected by the death of a member. We also provide the training necessary to the affected department to ensure that their ceremonial activities are crisp and rehearsed. The focus is to have the department honor its own firefighter.
The planning team identifies resources available throughout the state. When called, this team will break down each event into individual components so as not to leave anything out. The objective is to assist a department throughout the planning stages with a pre-planned guide covering many options. This process is a great help when you are also dealing with the emotions and disbelief that surrounds a sudden loss. The planning guide follows a generic format, which allows for individual family wishes to be honored.
The ceremonial teams focus on equipment and training. When called, they would ensure casket vigils for a wake are organized and rehearsed, color guards are properly trained, flag folding detail is well rehearsed, as well as providing or preparing a Sergeant-at-Arms for the funeral services. In the event that a department is overwhelmed with all of the activities, the ceremonial team would offer to provide the services or manpower requested to help implement the funeral plan.
The Connecticut Statewide Honor Guard has the support of the Commission on Fire Prevention & Control, the Uniformed Professional Firefighters of Connecticut, and the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association.
Anyone interested in joining our efforts is asked to contact the Honor Guard Commander at firstname.lastname@example.org OR by phone 860-627-6363 x231 OR through regular mail: 34 Perimeter Rd. Windsor Locks, CT 06096.
Connecticut Statewide Honor Guard Website: www.cthg.org
Click here for a copy of Before Tragedy Strikes a document from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Department of Justice.