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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hearing with more than your ears: Bereavement Uniform Program (BUP)

Dear Bereavement Uniform Program (BUP) Group Members

Attached is a Bereavement Uniform Program link up instruction sheet. 

Bereavement Uniform Program Class A Dress Cap

Bereavement Uniform Program Class A Dress Cap

This is the fifth and maybe the last BUP LinkedIn Group email.  The group is now well over 2200 people strong. It is represented by people from many walks of life, but almost all share a relationship and a love of the Fire Service and the men, women and families that make it up. That said, it is notoriously non-responsive.
For the last several years, we've worked tirelessly to get the word out about the Bereavement Uniform Program.  We were trying to determine whether the Fire Service would support an effort to recognize and honor the service of every 'passing' firefighter with a Class A Dress Uniform in which to answer their 'last alarm".  We called this effort BUP Phase I and the response to the call (donate surplus dress uniforms) generated an outpouring of generosity that was truly extraordinary.  We stopped asking for donations due to lack of room.
Now we find ourselves beginning BUP Phase II; getting the program into the hands and onto the websites of America's smaller and volunteer department websites.  The change in targets from 'haves' to 'recipients' is proving to be a much more difficult issue.  
The disconnect between head nodding and feet moving is really quite amazing.  People have no problem donating surplus dress uniforms, but they seem to have major difficulty carrying the message back to their departments and getting it linked up. 
We've also discovered the world is full of haters and people who just can't figure out why the Lighthouse is doing this and what has become abundantly clear; the Lighthouse is not the appropriate messenger for BUP Phase II (linking up)
Attached is a Bereavement Uniform Program link up instruction sheet.  It has the coding necessary to link up (very graciously provided by the Washington Fire Chiefs staff) plus provides access to other tools and incentives from the BUP tool box. Please use them.  
This summer will be a defining moment in the value of the Bereavement Uniform Program.  It will be the catalyst for a more inclusive, egalitarian way to recognize service or it will become the Fallen Fire Fighter Dress Uniform on steroids.
I hope you hear how valuable the BUP can really be.  If you do, you are hearing with more than you ears.

Help make it happen in your department.

Steve Cohen, Pres. Lighthouse Uniform Company Home of the Bereavement Uniform Program
"...When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work".  Chief Edward Croker, FDNY 1899 - 1911

Linking Up To The Bereavement Uniform Program 
Bereavement Uniform Program Instruction Sheet

Welcome and thank you very much for stepping up and taking part in the Bereavement
Uniform Program (BUP). It is through your efforts and the efforts of many others that
every firefighter, paid or volunteer, active or retired, can be afforded this ‘earned’
recognition of service; the opportunity to answer their ‘last call’ in a Dress Uniform, at
no cost to their family.

The first order of business; Get your department ‘linked up’.
Please Note: Linking the BUP to local department websites and/or Facebook pages is
the cornerstone of the whole BUP effort. It was deemed so important the Washington
Fire Chiefs staff stepped up and created the hyperlink and coding.

Below is the hyperlink and coding as well as a list of ‘tools’ available to introduce the

For more information on BUP ‘Faces’/’Voices’ Flyers, ‘Get Paid’ to Facilitate
linking forms and ‘Be Remembered’ Challenge Coins, please contact me directly at or give us a call at 800-426-5225

BUP hyperlink and coding; class-a-bereavement-uniform-program"

2. BUP ‘Get Paid’ to Facilitate linking form

3.BUP website; Bereavement Lighthouse

4. BUP “Be Remembered’ Wall of Fame (can be found on BUP website)

5. BUP ‘ Faces’/’Voices’ Flyers

6. BUP ‘Be Remembered’ Challenge Coins*

The ultimate goal of the BUP: create a new ‘shared awareness’ within America’s
firefighting community regarding who is entitled to answer their ‘last call’ in a Class A
from some to all and provide a way to do it.

The pieces are in place. The program has been tested. It works and is ready. If you
and your department step-up and ‘link up’ there is a very good chance that America’s
fire-fighting community will take a giant step in ‘taking care of those who took care of us’
Steve Cohen, Pres.
Lighthouse Uniform Company
Home of the Bereavement Uniform Program

*As a thank you to those responsible for facilitating a ‘link up’, the Lighthouse would like
to gift a ‘Be Remembered’ Challenge Coin (one per department)

To view a list of donating Departments please go to:

To view some of our testimonials please go to:

Twitter links

****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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