The largest firefighters’ union in the United States and Canada is honoring one of Asheville’s own.
Karen Shuart, 58, died in January 2019 after being diagnosed with Stave IV ovarian cancer. Shuart began her career with the Asheville Fire Department in 1994 and served her community for 25 years. As a dedicated member, Karen moved through the ranks during her tenure from firefighter, to engineer, to assistant fire marshal.
In September 2019, the North Carolina Industrial Commission ruled her death as a line of duty death. The ruling validated the growing crisis of the increase in cancer among firefighters, which is now the leading cause of death.
The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) will hold its annual Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Remembrance on Saturday, September 19 at 1:00 p.m. (ET). The names of 245 firefighters and emergency medical personnel who died in the line of duty will be etched onto the Wall of Honor at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado.