The NFFF is honoring 144 firefighters including two from Kansas: Assistant Chief Michael Baker of Carbondale and Firefighter Joshua Haynes of Nevada, Missouri.
Baker worked with the 190th Fire Department Air Refueling Wing Fire & Emergencies. He received an associate degree in fire science while serving in the U.S. Air Force, according to the NFFF. Baker retired after 20 years of service in the Air Force before serving as assistant fire chief.
Baker also worked as a volunteer firefighter in Carbondale for 28 years and earned many accolades throughout his career, according to the NFFF. Baker died on September 21, 2021 due to COVID-19 complications.
Haynes wanted to follow in his parent’s footsteps and be a firefighter from a young age, according to the NFFF. When he turned 18, he proudly joined the Linn County Rural Fire Department District #1.
Outside of serving as a firefighter, Haynes enjoyed driving his car at local racetracks and spending time with friends and family.
On June 20, 2022, Haynes responded to a structure fire, according to the NFFF. While fighting the fire, Haynes collapsed and needed to be airlifted to the University of Kansas Medical Center where he died June 22 from injuries sustained while fighting the fire.
The NFFF asks anyone who cannot attend in Maryland to pay tribute by lighting their homes, businesses, landmarks or fire departments up with red lights. Other ways to remember the firefighters include Bells Across America, Sound the Sirens and by signing the virtual Rememberance Banner.