Aeros, Rivermen honor fallen firefighters

The Houston Aeros and Peoria Rivermen announced today that the two teams will wear stickers on their helmets for the remainder of their Calder Cup Playoff series in honor of two Houston firefighters who lost their lives on Sunday.

Fans who come to the Rivermen office on Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and make a donation to the families will receive a coupon for $5 off their ticket to Friday night’s Game 2 of the series.

The stickers depict the logo of the International Association of Fire Fighters. Peoria Fire Fighters Local 50 will have firefighters on hand to accept donations throughout the Friday night’s game. The Rivermen will donate the proceeds from Friday night’s “Chuck-a-Puck” to the victims’ families as well.

All of the money raised at the game, as well as a donation from the Peoria firefighters, will be brought by a representative of the IAFF to Houston and presented to the local chapter before Game 3 on Saturday night.

Captain James A. Harlow, 50, and probationary firefighter Damion J. Hobbs, 29, of Houston Local 341 died Easter morning while battling a house fire. Harlow, a 30-year veteran firefighter with the Houston Fire Department, was made captain in 2004. Following a tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Iraq, Hobbs had just graduated from the Houston Fire Department’s Val Jahnke Training Facility on Mar. 3, fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter.

The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington, D.C., represents more than 292,000 full-time professional firefighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the nation’s population. More than 3,100 affiliates and their members protect communities in every state in the United States and in Canada. The IAFF is one of the most active lobbying organizations in Washington; its Political Action Committee, FIREPAC, is among the top one percent of the more than 4,000 federal PACs in the country.