DOWNTOWN CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Hundreds attend an annual ceremony Thursday honoring firefighters and paying respect to those who died in the line of duty.
The Greater Cincinnati Firefighters Memorial Service is held each year at Cincinnati Firefighters Memorial Park on Central Avenue at West Sixth Street.
"They have the courage and the conviction to do what many of us would not be prepared to do and that is to make the ultimate sacrifice," said City Manager Harry Black.
Vicki Burns knows that only too well.
She brought up an arrangement of mums on behalf of the Hamilton County Police and Fire Widows Association during the ceremony.
Her husband of 18 years, Tim Burns, was a full-time firefighter with West Chester Fire Department and part-time captain with Glendale Fire Department until his death in May from job-related cancer. The couple has twin teenage sons.
An Ohio law now recognizes cancer as a work-related illness for firefighters and gives them the ability to claim workers compensation and have their medical bills covered.
The law is named in honor of a Cleveland-area firefighter, Michael Palumbo, who fought for it after he was diagnosed with cancer.
State lawmakers who worked to see that law become a reality attended Thursday's service. So did Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and several members of City Council; as well as all three Hamilton County Commissioners.