The Lockport Township Firefighter Local #1544 Honor Guard was formed in 1999 when Firefighter William Lambert was hired from the Kankakee Fire Department. Bill was a member of Kankakee Firefighters Union Local #653. He was also a member of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois Honor Guard. Bill asked the fire chief at the time if he could continue the tradition by forming a department honor guard for the Lockport Fire Fighters. The Chief not only agreed with Bill but approved monetary support. The Department Honor Guard has grown in recent years to eleven members strong.
All members belong to the State of Illinois AFFI Honor Guard. The Mission of the AFFI Honor Guard shall be to Promote the Associated Firefighters of Illinois, the Locals therein, and the fire service as a whole, to the public, in a positive and proper fashion. To provide, as a line of duty death benefit, dignified, honorable services for fallen AFFI members, their surviving family members, and union brothers and sisters through organization of and participation in funeral and memorial services.
We have presented the Colors at the Lockport Township Fire District’s Annual Fire Fighters Award Banquet and we have participated in the City of Crest Hill’s Memorial Parade. We also have participated in various events within our Fire District. Annually we have participated in the Illinois Medal of Honor Ceremony in Springfield, Illinois and the IAFF Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Member Include: FF Keith Carberry- Team Leader AFFI Drill Captain, Lt. John Matthews- Asst. Team Leader, Lt. Phil Hutto- Quartermaster, FF Chris Langheld, FF Brandon Voight, FF Thomas Clifton AFFI Drill Captain, FF Katherine Gritsuk, Lt. Dale Jacobs, FF Joshua Hertzmann & Retired FF William Lambert.
AFFI Honor Guard Oath:
The AFFI Honor Guard Oath was written by former State Commander Thomas J. Matousek Jr., a retired member of Forest Park Local #2753. He was asked by the Honor Guards first State Commander Jay Bishop of Springfield Local #37 to come up with an Oath for the Honor Guard. The Oath is memorized by each and every Honor Guard Member who swears to uphold the traditions which are exemplified by the words written in this oath.
TO HONOR, TO CHERISH, TO REMEMBER, TO SALUTE, WITH OVERWHELMING PRIDE FOR YOU, MY COMRADE I WILL.
These are the words that help guide each Member of the AFFI Honor Guard as they train, teach, and finally assist in services for our fallen Comrades.