By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Since firefighters in St. Paul began answering calls in 1856, 62 have lost their lives in the line of duty.

A memorial near the state Capitol commemorates those lives lost, but there are those who want something more.

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“Something more personal and more informative for our guys,” Cpt. Bob Kippels said on Wednesday.

He’s talking about permanent markers, 12-by-18 metal signs that would be placed at or near the sites where St. Paul firefighters died while saving lives and protecting properties.

“It’s going to have arched lettering that says, ‘Gave their life in the line of duty,’ and below that will be a Maltese Cross that represents the fire department, under that will be their title and their name, and then the date of their line of duty death below that,” Kippels said.

Kippels believes this type of memorial is educational.

“[People] can then go to the website and look at the story behind it,” Kippels said.

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For working firefighters, the markers are a way of thanking those who came before them for the benefits they enjoy now.

“If you look at the line of duty deaths by years from 1948 to 1976, there were 25 line of duty deaths, and 16 of them were from heart attacks,” Kippels said. “That kind of paved the way for health and wellness for us.”

Other deaths in the line of duty led to changes and upgrades in equipment that are crediting with saving lives.

Kippels and others hope the public takes this opportunity to help support a project that honors those who died while saving others.

St. Paul Fire Honor Guard is looking for any donations from the public.

Donations can be made to them here or you can send a check to:

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Josette Bradley
St. Paul Fire HQ
645 Randolph Ave
St. Paul, MN 55102

Reg Chapman