Live Streaming a Firefighter's Funeral

When a firefighter dies in the line of duty, the entire community grieves. Such was the case on May 2nd when Reisterstown Volunteer firefighter Gene Kirchner died after being injured in a fire a week before. 

A full Fire Department funeral was scheduled with thousands of family, friends, and fellow emergency personnel expected to attend. 

Unfortunately, the funeral was to take place at a synagogue which, at most, seats 1,000. As a result, the firefighter’s family and Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company turned to Focal Point to make arrangements to stream the service live online. That way, mourners could attend the service virtually if they could not be there in person. 

With less then 20 hours notice, Focal Point put together a plan and prepared to stream the service live.  With only 1 1/2 hours of spreading the word via Twitter, Facebook, and email, over 3,000 devices tuned in to watch parts of the service, with a constant viewership of approximately 550 devices. The number of actual viewers may have been much higher as it's unknown how many people were watching each device.

 Approximatlely 70 firefighters and EMTs gathered at the nearby Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Company to watch the live stream on two computers

Approximatlely 70 firefighters and EMTs gathered at the nearby Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Company to watch the live stream on two computers

A recorded version of the service was posted the next day on YouTube and within 24 hours it garnered 1500 views, and dozens of comments, shares, and Likes on Facebook.

Focal Point is proud to enable Firefighter Gene Kirchner’s family to share his funeral service with others who mourned his loss.