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2018 Year in Review

As 2018 draws to a close, the fire community is still reeling from the recent events in California, which included the most deadly and destructive wildfire in the state’s history, while the east coast is still picking up the pieces after the devastating force of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. However, despite a difficult year, stories of firefighter heroism and courage emerged from the flames and flood waters. Firefighters once again rose to the occasion and proved they serve with honor, bravery and integrity.

Before we begin focusing on 2019, take a look back at some of this year’s most heroic and impactful moments, with features from our expert columnists and multimedia lists of the year’s top moments.

In 2018, 86 firefighters died in the line of duty around the United States
Self-care, leaning on fellow firefighters and professional therapy help firefighters cope with the aftermath of wildfires, firefighter stress
A firefighter from Brockton, Mass., made his PGA debut at the U.S. Open before competing in the Masters in Augusta
Wildfires, acts of violence and declining numbers in the fire service will require training, data-driven approaches to emergency response
As firefighters learn more about increased risk for cancer, they should protect themselves in case of a future cancer diagnosis by documenting exposure
From finishing a pizza delivery to standing in for a hurt colleague at a graduation ceremony, firefighters performed some pretty great acts of kindness this year
From flaming spiders to a girl stuck in a tailpipe, this year first responders dealt with several incidents you just can’t make up
Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader, a TIME-recognized pioneer in fighting the opioid epidemic, talks results, first responder mental health
As the sole provider of emergency services for Walt Disney World properties in Orlando, Fla., Reedy Creek Professional Firefighters have one of the most unique missions in the country
Congresswoman Norma Torres, who previously worked as a 911 operator, wants to upgrade the status of 911 operators from clerical workers to first responders