To say that 2020 has been challenging is an understatement at best, and I hope this blog post finds you doing the best you can with what you have in each moment, to make this world a better place to live for all our brother and sister first responders.
One of the things I have learned during my time with ILFFPS, and the fire service in general, is that many people will cross paths with us in this lifetime to remind us of the importance of our life’s work- not only as first responders, but peer support persons as well.
One such person is Jacob Whitley who is the director of Brave Are The Fallen, a documentary about the life of his uncle Orange County Captain Thomas Wall. He reached out to me by email (after finding our website) to see if we would help spread the word about Brave.
Jacob gave me the honor of viewing the 52 minute story about his uncle who died in the line of duty on October 5th, 1998 while fighting a wildland fire. There are interviews with his family and colleagues that provide the viewer with the raw emotions that these individuals experienced on that day and the years to follow.
I found this documentary a blessing to be offered a peek into the life of a man who loved what he did, and did what he loved: being a husband, father, friend, and mentor to many firefighters – from the greenest rookie to the most seasoned veteran.
In my humble opinion, Brave is a gentle reminder that we should live life to the fullest as we are never granted tomorrow. It is a worthwhile investment to share Tom Wall’s story within firehouses across the country. Please visit the website https://www.bravearethefallen.com/ for further information.
The following is from the official press release as provided by Jacob:
The life story of a fallen firefighter is now available on Amazon Prime for streaming and DVD purchase.
An everyday hero, Thomas Wall was a protector and a leader to his family both at home and in the firehouse. He was a servant to his community and a source of inspiration. This heartfelt and inspiring documentary chronicles Tom’s life, and his untimely death while battling an inferno that he helped to put out, saving homes and lives one last time.
Ranked at #5 on Firefighter Insider’s 11 Best Firefighter Documentaries,
“Brave Are the Fallen is a sad story about the dangers that firefighters are
“Jacob Whitley’s 52-minute feature doc Brave are the Fallen is a moving,
heartfelt tribute to Captain Thomas Wall,” – The Independent Critic
“Brave are the Fallen was a personal project for me. This is a film about my
family. Captain Tom Wall was my uncle. He was an influence to everyone
around him and the go to guy when someone needed help with anything. I
remember the day he died like it was yesterday. I was only a boy at that time,
but the memory is still burned into my mind until this day. I hope that this
documentary can bring Tom’s memory back to life and remind or share with
others who Tom was and what kind of impact he left on his community in
Orange County California. After going through the efforts of making this
motion picture, I feel like I know Tom a lot more now than I did then and I can
say more than ever, that I miss him.”
To my brother and sister first responders and peer support personnel:
We do this work to serve and protect others in their time of need. We do peer support work to not only lift up our brothers and sisters we stand shoulder to shoulder with, but to honor and be there for those who are left behind- like the family of Captain Thomas Wall.
Be well and take care always,