On January 30, 1993, Illinois union rank and file fire fighters from across the state came together in Springfield, and decided to try something new. Something that some would say could not be done, because it had never been done before. That was to organize a state wide Fire Fighter Honor Guard and as a line of duty death benefit, assist and guide in the conducting and performance of fallen fire fighter line of duty funeral services. We inducted our colors, the AFFI Flag and the AFFI Honor Guard Flag, presented honor guard rocker patches for the uniform and asked 69 fire fighters to uphold and maintain the traditions of the fire service.
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.
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.