Public Works and APWA need to be vigilant in honoring and recognizing our “Fallen” Public Works hero’s and supporting their families, whether a member or non-member of the association, who have lost their lives in the line of duty working to make all of our lives and communities better.
PROPOSED ACTION (MOTION):
The APWA Board adopts the following resolution/policy document related to Public Works Heroes lost in the line of duty, for staff to implement. Further, the APWA Board adopts the Fallen Public Works Professional Standard Operating Procedure for distribution to chapters, members and others.
Police, Fire, and other organizations all have policies and procedures for recognizing their “Fallen” hero’s. Further, these organizations also have been able to obtain both state and federal support for a fallen hero’s family.
Some of the implementation items are in the resolution/policy and quick to do. They just need to be assigned to a staff person. Other items will require the Executive Director to prepare a game plan with staff
Public Works Fallen Hero’s Resolution/Policy
Public Works is a critical component of our society and everyday lives; and Public Works builds and maintains the communities and systems that improve our everyday lives; and Public Works strives to protect citizens, visitors and businesses of our communities; and Public Works is an Emergency First Responder and serves as the "The Silent Arm of Public Safety. Be it resolved that the American Public Works Association strives to provide national, state and local recognition of the members of the Public Works Profession who die in the line of duty through the following actions:
Notification - APWA staff will assist chapters and members with recognizing those Public Works Professionals who die in the line of duty when they are notified of such tragic events. APWA will notify media contacts, Congressional delegations, Federal and State officials, public works committees, chapter and regional members, other public works associations, and the entire APWA membership.
APWA will use all means at its disposal to accomplish appropriate notification. These notification methods include: media contacts, webpage, member emails, legislative alerts, and other such methods that may be available.
Support, Awareness, and Recognition: Support and Recognition will be provided to members and non-members of APWA. The goal of our support is to bring awareness and recognition of public works professionals, our profession, the critical role public works plays in our society, the dangers associated with the work performed and the importance of the men and women serving the public works profession.
PWX and Snow & Ice Conferences - APWA will highlight at the opening session of the annual PWX conference and Snow & Ice Conference those public works professionals, who have fallen in the of duty, during the past 12 months.
Federal and State Benefit Acts – APWA will work to adopt Federal Survival Benefit Legislation similar to police and fire and further, APWA will assist chapters in adopting state Survival Benefit Legislation or will work to include Public Works in Police and Fire Legislation.
Public Works Fallen Hero’s Wall of Remembrance – APWA will develop a plan for the creation of a “Public Works Fallen Hero’s Wall of Remembrance” to be located in Washington, DC or Kansas City, MO and in Toronto, Ontario.
Standard Operating Policy to Assist Chapters with Recognition - APWA will adopt and will provide to chapters and members a Standard Operating Procedure to assist with recognizing a public works professional who dies in the line of duty. This policy can also be used to recognize public works professionals who die of ordinary causes, however, it will not include all the national assistance that comes with those who are lost in the line of duty.
Non-Support: Support will not be provided or authorized for job related deaths resulting from: Alcohol or drug related incidents, Suicides, Criminal Acts, Malicious Acts, and for reasons APWA deems inappropriate of recognition.
Upon adoption, this resolution will be provided to all APWA members and Chapters.
APWA’s FALLEN PUBLIC WORKS PROFESSIONAL STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP) - It is the policy of APWA to provide assistance, if wanted, to chapters who have a Public Works Professional who dies in the line of duty. This policy has been written to assist chapters with appropriate recognition.
I. FALLEN PUBLIC WORKS PROFESSIONAL STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOP)
A. Chapters may provide assistance, if wanted, to the immediate survivors of a Public Works Professional who dies in the line of duty, with emotional support that includes presence at the funeral.
B. The Chapter, with the consent of the family and the community Public Works Department, may activate some or part of this SOP for funerals for line-of-duty deaths, off-duty deaths (not in line-of-duty), or retired PW death.
The purpose of this SOP is to offer impartial assistance to all members of the of the APWA Professional family. It must be understood that services provided to the Fallen Public Works Professional’s family are dependent upon a number of factors. These include such things as:● Does the family want any participation of other Public Works Professional Communities and /or the Chapter?
● Availability of affected Public Works Community; and availability of Chapter resources.
● The family, the community and/or the Chapter may approve deviations from this SOP depending upon those factors.
III. DEFINITIONS – For the purpose of this SOP, the following definitions shall apply: The definitions listed are not all inclusive.
A. Line-of-Duty Death - A death of an active Public Works Professional that dies accidentally or naturally (medical causes) while performing work-related functions on duty.
B. Off-Duty Death - The death of an active Public Works Professional that dies accidentally or naturally (medical causes) while off duty.
C. Survivors - The deceased Public Works Professional’s spouse, children, parents, siblings, fiancé, or significant other.
D. Chapter Support Liaison - A Representative appointed by the Chapter to coordinate the Chapter’s support to the survivors.
E. Department Support Liaison - A Representative appointed by the affected DPW to support the department and communicate with the chapter.
F. Family Support Liaison - An employee assigned by the affected DPW to stay with the survivors and give emotional support and act as an immediate liaison between the family and the Chapter. This employee should have a good knowledge of the family relationship in order to effectively serve as a facilitator between the family and the Chapter during the wake and funeral.
G. Chapter Funeral Liaison- A representative, assigned by the Chapter to coordinate with the Community for the funeral and wake arrangements including traffic, crowd, and route control and other service related logistics.
H. Employee Family Assistance Liaison - A Representative assigned by the Chapter that works voluntarily to coordinate any non-governmental private donations for the benefit of seriously injured employees or the employee’s survivors in case of an employee’s death.
I. Chapter Public Information Representative - A representative appointed by the Chapter who is responsible for coordinating all media coverage including TV/news; press releases, social media distributions; contacting Government Officials of the State and Local and National APWA.
A. Within 24 hours of the death, a Chapter should designate a Representative as a Chapter Support Liaison. The Chapter Support Liaison will then coordinate with a Department Support Liaison, Family Support Representative and Chapter Funeral Liaison.
B. A Chapter Public Information Representative will also be assigned to work closely with the Chapter Support Liaison for any media releases. The Chapter Support Liaison must receive the approval of the Director or Town Government Authorized Representative prior to any release of information to the media.
C. Family Support Liaison:
1. Designation: The Department will designate a Department employee to be the Family Support Liaison. The Family Support Liaison is assigned to stay with the survivors/family of the Public Works Professional, give emotional support, and act as an immediate liaison between the family and the Community Public Works Department. This employee should have a good knowledge of the family relationship in order to effectively serve as a facilitator between the family and the Community Public Works Department during the wake and funeral.
2. The Family Support Representative will report directly to the Department Support Liaison and will also work closely with the Chapter Funeral Liaison.
3. Initially, the Family Support Representative will work closely with the Chapter Funeral Liaison to meet the needs of the professional’s family and begin planning the wake and the funeral.
a) The Family Support Liaison will offer assistance to the family in meeting their transportation or lodging needs for additional family that may be coming into town to attend the services.
b) The Family Support Liaison will arrange for a patrol watch to be placed on the family’s residence during the funeral services.
4. Personal Belongings: The Family Support Liaison will also be responsible for obtaining all the Public Works Professional’s personal belongings at the Community’s Public Works Department and returning them to the family, and obtaining all the Community Public Works department-issued equipment for return to the Community.
5. Family Support Responsibilities:
a) To remain sensitive to the needs of the survivors long after the professional’s death.
b) Encourage members of the Community Public Works Department to keep in touch with the surviving family and instill that they are still part of the public works family, especially around the holidays.
c) Keep the family informed on all new developments relating to press releases and media coverage.
D. Chapter Funeral Liaison
1. Chapter Funeral Liaison Designation: This Liaison is designated by the Department Support Liaison to assist the family in coordinating the Funeral and wake/visitation arrangements. The Chapter Funeral Liaison will report directly to the Department Support Liaison and work closely with the Family Support Representative
2. Upon request, the Chapter Funeral Liaison may assist the family in funeral planning and family assistance relating to the funeral, or wake/visitation. The Chapter Funeral Liaison may coordinate the funeral and wake/viewing arrangements, including traffic, crowd, and route control. The Chapter Funeral Liaison and the Family Support Rep will initially contact the family of a deceased professional and determine if the family desires the Community Public Works Department’s assistance. If necessary, restroom and canteen services should be coordinated and made available for attending departments.
3. Explain to the family the Chapter’s funeral procedure (Support from other Public Works Departments)
4. Upon selection of a funeral home, the Chapter Funeral Liaison will set up a meeting with the funeral home personnel and the professional’s family.
a) Determine the family’s feelings about the media being at the family residence, in the funeral home, at the church service, or at the cemetery.
b) Ask the family for their selections on pallbearers.
5. Once the meeting with the Public Works Professional’s family and the funeral home is concluded, the Chapter Funeral Liaison will:
a) Contact the pallbearers and generate a list of names for the funeral home.
b) Provide a burial flag for the casket (if military Service), if the family so desires.
c) Arrange for the community Police Department to watch the family’s residence during the wake, viewing and funeral.
6. Once the meeting with the Family is concluded, the Family Support Rep and the Chapter Funeral Liaison should ensure that they have documented the following information from that meeting:
a) Note the selected date, time, and location of the funeral service and the interment.
b) Note the name of the funeral director who will be in charge of the services.
c) Note the time that the Public Works Professional will be ready for viewing.
7. After the family’s meeting with the funeral director, the Chapter Funeral Liaison and Family Support Rep shall meet with the funeral director separately to discuss the specifics of the Community’s and/or State Police Services and Other Public Works Departments involvement, if it was selected/approved by the family. The specific details will be worked out with the funeral director.
a) They shall provide the funeral director with the list of the pallbearers.
b) If the service is at the funeral home chapel, the Family Support Rep needs to obtain a diagram of the chapel and associated areas.
i. Determine seating arrangements and overflow seating.
ii. Determine the maximum occupancy and work out arrangements for overflow crowd.
c) Determine local public works staff to attend to doors with appropriate safety colors.
d) Determine if a public address system is present. If not, the Chapter Funeral Liaison will need to secure a public address system.
e) Determine where the family will enter so that attending Public Works Professional Representatives (from the Community and/or other representative Public Works Departments) may form an honor line.
8. Contact the presiding clergy (chaplain/minister/rabbi/priest/other).
a) Explain the dynamics of a Public Works Professional service, and its various unique components.
b) Establish the order of the funeral and interment services.
9. Coordinate traffic-related activities involved with the funeral. These duties will be delegated to the local police department. The traffic-related responsibilities include: a) Coordinating the parking at the viewing/wake.
b) Coordinating parking at the funeral services. Parking should be done as to assist in the order of the procession, which is as follows:
i. Escort motors (Public Works Professionals from the Community and /or Police Escort vehicles). Driving the Truck/vehicle of the Fallen Public Works Professional in the procession by a member of the Community DPW.
ii. Hearse and deceased officer’s family vehicles.
iii. Visiting Public Works Professionals.
iv. Attending dignitaries.
v. Fire or Police Department vehicles.
vi. All other civilian vehicles.
c) Coordinating the route for the procession, including traffic control needed for the route.
d) Coordinating parking at the gravesite services.
e) Coordinating the assignment of Public Works Professionals vehicles used during the service. This includes assurance of clean appearance and ensuring they are appropriate for the particular service.
10. In coordination with the local Police Department and/or State Police, create a traffic plan for the procession route that includes all traffic officers' posted positions. Draw a diagram of the funeral procession order and provide a routing map to the Chapter Support Liaison for release to the media, by the Chapter Public Information Representative, once the plan is finalized.
11. Order of events and protocol: While each funeral may be different, the following order of events and protocol should generally be followed:
a) Public Works Professionals should be dressed in safety attire.
b) Public Works Professionals place hand over their heart and should be lined up at the church along either side of the hearse parking spot to the door of the church.
c) Pallbearers move the casket to the church, Public Works Professionals place hand over their heart as the casket passes into the church.
d) Repeat the two steps above when the casket leaves the church.
12. Order of Gravesite Ceremonies is:
a) Public Works Professionals place hand over their heart in a formed line between the gravesite and the hearse.
b) Public Works Trucks are positioned along route to and/or at cemetery.
c) Public Works Professionals place hand over their heart when the pallbearers carry the casket from the hearse to the gravesite.
d) Driving the truck/vehicle of the Fallen Public Works Professional in the procession by a member of the affected DPW.
e) Religious rites are conducted.
f) Taps is played by bagpipes, if appropriate. Public Works Professionals place hand over their heart during taps.
g) Attending Public Work Departments are dismissed at the conclusion of the ceremony.
13. Dissemination of Funeral Details to other Public Works Departments
a) The Chapter will be provided details.
b) Committee will distribute information to each point of contact for state specific distribution
14. Public Donations of Money
a) Gofundme.com page to be determined by family or funeral home.
b) Explore potential survivor’s benefits for death in the line-of-duty.