Honor Guard training for line of duty deaths

The Taylor Fire Department led a training for the state's Honor Guard.

It's something no first responder wants to prepare for but, they must. Line of duty deaths are happening more often. Wednesday the Taylor Fire Department lead an honor guard training.

It is the stance, the salute first responders hope they will never have to give to a fallen brother or sister. Should a friend die in the line of duty, they want to be there, to show their love and respect.

"It's one of those things that we want to look at that it's never going to happen to us or it's never going to happen in our hometown or it's never going to happen to our neighbors but you know as we've seen here in the past couple of years in the Central Texas area we've needed this training,” said Firefighter Matt Whiesenant.

Matt Whisenant helps lead an honor guard training in Taylor where he also serves as a firefighter. 50 first responders have traveled here from across the state to learn from him.

"We have one time to get it right,” he said.

Firefighters and police spend days practicing flag presentation and marching. They learn how to arrange a funeral service and how to best communicate with the family and the fallen first responder's chief.

"It means so much more than just at the parades or carrying the flags,” said Taylor Firefighter Nolan Grimm.

Taylor Firefighter Nolan Grimm decided this role was for him after witnessing the services for the firefighters who died in the west explosion. Grimm's father was on the second engine to respond that day, but survived.

"I've been on the other side and now I'd like to be on the side that will help. I know how much it changed my life and I hope I can change somebody else’s,” said Grimm.

So far this year, 14 police officers have lost their lives while on duty. That surpasses all of last year which ended with 12.

Denton Police Officer Ryan Grelle has been through a number of services in his career, "Probably too many to count."

Denton, so far, has been immune. Still he trains.

"It's not if, but when. We know there will unfortunately be a time so it's taking this knowledge back to write standard operating procedures that say this is what we need to do when this happens,” said Grelle.

Training runs through September 1st.

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