Commemorating First Responders FAQs


Wilbert has been the trusted leader in burial vaults and related products since 1930.  From this position of leadership, Wilbert reaches out – through you as a Funeral Professional – to help families commemorate the lives of fallen heroes with respect.

Commemorating First Responders - FAQs Questions

Questions & Answers

What is the Commemorating First Responders program?

Wilbert and Wilbert Licensees donate to families of firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical personnel who die in the line of duty a customized Wilbert Stainless Steel Triune® burial vault – with a customized carapace for memorial tribute.

If the choice is cremation, the family can choose any urn offered by Wilbert - engraving is included if the urn is one that can be engraved.  If the cremated remains are buried, a Stainless Steel Triune® urn vault with a customized carapace is provided. 

If permitted, a WilbertWay® graveside service may also be included.

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Are deaths from COVID-19 covered in the program?

No.  We did not realize the challenges the COVID-19 virus would present in determining if exposure occurred while performing a line-of-duty-death activity or action.  In addition, the virus has changed the manner in which wakes and funerals are being conducted; many funerals are taking place within two or three days of death and before a line-of-duty death determination is finalized.

Therefore, due to these challenges we are altering our program of providing a vault at the time of burial and instead will show our commitment by making a future donation to the organization(s) benefitting law enforcement, firefighters and EMS personnel.  

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What is my involvement as a Funeral Professional?

Wilbert and your Wilbert Licensee donate the product but it is essentially done through you since you are helping the family with arrangements.  Your willing participation in the program is obviously critical.  However, we have found that many funeral professionals already donate a portion of their services for their community’s fallen heroes so this program is complementary to those charitable efforts.

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How will I learn about a line of duty death (LODD)?

Usually you already know about a LODD in your community, but Wilbert also works with various first responder organizations to be notified about a death.  Some organizations also notify the family about the Wilbert First Responder program and determine from the family which funeral home will be serving them.  Wilbert or your Wilbert Licensee will contact you and offer the free vault or cremation option.  If you hear about a first responder death before we contact you, please call your Licensee.

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Will the family know to ask for a Wilbert vault and/or urn?

Sometimes.  We are working with first responder organizations to notify the family that they are entitled to receive a Wilbert product, but there are times when this does not occur. 

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If I do not offer Wilbert vaults in my funeral home, can I participate and extend the offer of a free Wilbert vault or urn to the family?

Absolutely.  Our main priority is to help the family.

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What happens if the cemetery restricts the level of service that can be provided?

If the cemetery will not allow a full graveside setup, your Wilbert Licensee will discuss with you the level of service that can be provided.  However, experience has shown that cemeteries have deviated from their general rules for large prominent funerals, so your Licensee will ask cemetery management if an exception can be made. 

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Will the funeral home receive recognition for donating the product?

Yes.  Shortly after the funeral, Wilbert sends the family a condolence letter on behalf of the Funeral Professional, the Wilbert Licensee, and Wilbert Funeral Services.
We also have a document that you can print out and supply to the family at the beginning of your arrangement conference.  Your name can be inserted into the document.  Download the form here.  

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