Because so many have asked, some thoughts on monetary donations.
The 100 Club is collecting and distributing funds to the families of the fallen. You can instruct them you want the monies only used for firefighters.
Local 341 is collecting funds to distribute directly to the families of the fallen.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation collects money to distribute to firefighters families, and also to memorialize those who perish in the line of duty. You can instruct the funds be used specifically for the Houston firefighters, but there is no promise it will be used for that purpose.
Anne Sullivan was the rookie firefighter who died. Her family is setting up a scholarship for women who want to join the fire services. Well over 90% (it's either 93% or 97%) of firefighters are men. Details are still being worked out, and I will post this when the details are finalized.
Several of the community colleges in our area have fire academies. You can contact the schools directly and offer to pay for books and other materials for a deserving student.
There are a number of small, mostly volunteer fire departments in our area. They run the gamut - Cy Fair is one of the largest and richest volunteer departments in our country. Others rely on hand-me-downs from other departments. Most are supported by Emergency Services Districts (ESDs) that collect taxes. You can contact them directly about how they handle donations.
The St. Florian Society is a non-profit, honor society for firefighters with a chapter here in Houston. St. Florian was a Roman soldier who converted to Christianity and threatened to ride a wave of fire if they tried to burn him to death. The Romans flayed him instead, and he is our patron saint.
The Bull & Bear on Westheimer is donating 100% of purchases of Firemen No. 4 to the families of the fallen this month.
Teespring is donating 100% of the profits from memorial t shirts to the families.
Fire stations are not really donation centers. If you wish to send funds directly there anyway, please instruct what it is to be used for. We keep teddy bears (and other toys) to give to young visitors and/or children in need of emergency services. We usually eat in, so specify it's for dinner. Volunteer departments frequently eat out to help promote the departments, so specify it's for dinner out on you. You might even specify which shift (A,B,C or D, or Monday volunteers, etc.), or that it is for us while we are attending training. We tend to be sparsely furnished, so specify it is for a grill or a picnic table, or decorations. We have tons of photos that need framing. We buy a lot of movies on DVD.
You could do us all a favor and pull to the right and stop as soon as you see us coming. Stay at least 300 feet behind us - even if in traffic. Turn down the music in your car so you can hear us coming. We lose more firefighters in traffic accidents trying to get to a scene than we do in fires.
I won't be around much this week. I am privileged to be asked to be part of the honor guard. When a firefighter dies in the line of duty, it is our tradition that the fallen are never left alone - 24 hours a day - until they receive their final call/alarm (usually at the cemetery). The last funeral is Friday afternoon. Additionally, I will be on some extra shifts so other firefighters can attend funerals.
Thanks to David for sharing these suggestions. Our thoughts and prayers are with David, the Houston Fire Department and all of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.