ARIZONA NEWS

Fallen Arizona firefighters to be remembered during national tribute

Oct 2, 2020, 12:00 PM

PHOENIX – Four Phoenix-area firefighters who died of job-related cancer last year will be among those remembered during a nationwide tribute this weekend.

On Sunday morning, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s production of America’s Tribute to Fallen Firefighters will honor the lives of 82 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 21 who died in previous years.

Goodyear firefighter Austin Peck, Phoenix firefighters Brian Beck and Rick Telles and Mesa firefighter Nikki Sullivan will be included in the tribute, which starts at 7 a.m.

In a normal year, the events take place in Emmitsburg, Maryland, the location of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

In June, NFFF announced that the annual memorial would be postponed due to the challenges of planning a large, in-person event during the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunday’s 45-minute tribute will be available to watch at the foundation’s website. A collection of stories about fire heroes can be read within the 2020 Roll of Honor, submitted by families, friends and fellow firefighters.

Cody Peck, Austin’s brother, said the memorial is “super important to our family.”

“When you hear his name, you’re going to remember cancer,” he said. “But we want it to be not when you think of cancer and how horrible it is and how it crushes lives, but what’s being done to help these guys in the future.”

Since Austin Peck was diagnosed with a rare sinus nasal cancer in 2015, his family members have dedicated their time to spreading awareness about cancer in the fire service, how to prevent it, and how to create legislation to protect health benefits if firefighters do contract occupational cancer.

Peck died in 2019 with no health insurance and zero compensation from the city of Goodyear. He served the city as a firefighter for nearly 12 years. After the city denied him workers’ compensation, his family was left with close to $500,000 in medical expenses.

“We’re still fighting as hard, if not harder than when Austin was alive,” Cody Peck said. “We’re not in it to save Austin’s life anymore – it’s more about saving the lives of all these other guys.”

Legislation was introduced last year in Arizona to close loopholes from previous legislation passed that allowed cities to deny firefighters their benefits when battling cancer from the job. Due to COVID-19, the legislative session was upended and the legislative “fix” was never passed.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

FILE - Kari Lake, Arizona Republican candidate for governor, speaks to supporters at the Republican...
Associated Press

Lake seeks election records in suit against Arizona county

Kari Lake, the defeated Republican candidate for Arizona governor, has filed a public records lawsuit demanding Maricopa County hand over a variety of documents related to the election.
1 day ago
Carey Johnson and her son Fabian Swain are photographed wearing face masks in their Germantown, Md....
Associated Press

After a year, omicron still driving COVID surges and worries

A year after omicron began its assault on humanity, the ever-morphing coronavirus mutant drove COVID-19 case counts higher in many places just as Americans gathered for Thanksgiving.
1 day ago
(City of Mesa Photo)...
KTAR.com

Merry Main Street with ice rink, other holiday activities returns to downtown Mesa

Mesa's annual Merry Main Street begins Friday and will offer multiple holiday activities for the whole family to enjoy each day through early January.
1 day ago
Joaquin Santiago Orozco (Mesa Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Mesa police involved in shooting with man who allegedly rammed them with vehicle

Mesa police were involved in a shooting with a man late Thursday night who allegedly rammed them with a vehicle after failing to stop for a civil traffic offense, authorities said.
1 day ago
Brian Hanrahan (Courtesy Photo)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert canceled after missing 78-year-old man found safe

A Silver Alert was canceled Friday after a missing 78-year-old man last seen in Phoenix was found safe, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/City of Mesa, Arizona Government, Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around metro Phoenix for Nov. 25-27

The holiday season is officially underway and there are plenty of events around the Valley this weekend to get into the festive mood.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Fallen Arizona firefighters to be remembered during national tribute