MISSION OF HONOR AND HOPE
- traveled over 90,000 miles and visited more than 300 fire departments;
- shared our cancer survivor experiences and provided support and encouragement to firefighters battling cancer;
- encouraged early cancer screenings, use of protective equipment, and adherence to safety procedures among hundreds of firefighters;
- honored and remembered firefighters across the nation who have lost their lives to cancer by conducting memorial fire bell ceremonies at various locations throughout the United States;
- called attention to the high rates of cancer among firefighters and encouraged early cancer screenings for them and for the general public through local news media outlets; and
- conducted special missions for terminally ill firefighters who have asked to ride on the Code 3 fire engine.
The Code 3 for a Cure Foundation's Mission of Honor and Hope is a journey across America taken on a fire engine once a year (dependent on sponsorship) by a crew of cancer surviving firefighters. The purpose of the journey is to:
1. Honor and remember firefighters (active or retired) who have lost their lives to cancer, because it was they who paved the way, through their service and sacrifice, to the safer equipment and procedures used by firefighters today.
2. Call attention to the prevalence of firefighting related cancers and encourage early cancer screenings, use of protective equipment, and adherence to safety procedures among firefighters.
3. Share our experiences and give hope, support, and encouragement to firefighters and others who are fighting their own personal battles with cancer.
On the Code 3 fire engine there is an empty seat to signify the loss of a firefighter due to cancer. The firefighters carry with them a memorial fire bell throughout their journey, and they collect the names of their brother and sister firefighters who succumbed to cancer. They place those names in a special compartment located at the base of the memorial fire bell. Upon the completion of each Mission, they read off all the names of firefighters that they collected throughout the journey at the Los Angeles Fire Department Museum Station 27. Throughout the Mission, they share their own personal cancer experiences and encourage firefighters and the general public to undergo early cancer screenings.
In addition to the Annual Mission of Honor and Hope, Code 3 for a Cure is on standby to grant the requests of terminally ill firefighters who want to answer their last call by riding on the Code 3 fire engine and visiting fellow firefighters to share their story in the hopes of saving a brother or sister firefighter from cancer.
The Mission of Honor and Hope first took place from June 13 to July 15, 2008, and marked the beginning of Code 3 for a Cure. What began as a one-time journey across the country has since developed into a nonprofit 501(c)3 public charity. The Annual Mission continues on as an important part of our program.
Thus far in its young history, Code 3 for a Cure has accomplished five Missions. In doing so, we have: