A firefighter who worked in Surrey will be among 15 professionals remembered during a parade and service in Victoria on Monday (March 4).
The BC Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial Service welcomes more than 500 firefighters and their families for the annual event, which concludes with a ceremony near the Parliament buildings.
The memorial will be live-steamed at bcpffa.org/live.
“Our association is formally recognizing 15 of our members who have lost their lives due to injury and illness related to their occupation,” Gord Ditchburn, president of BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, said in a release.
“The toxic environments we work in have been scientifically proven to increase the incidence ratio to double that of the general population, for certain cancers and coronary disease,” Ditchburn added.
“It is fitting for our provincial organization to honour these members from all over the province. It helps bring awareness to the dangers which continue to exist in the occupation of fire fighting, despite technical improvements in fire fighting protective equipment.”
The honoured firefighters include Leslie A. Dionne, a member of Surrey union local 1271.
Dionne died of acute myeloid leukemia at Sechelt Hospital on Feb. 16, 2018, according to an obituary posted to dignitymemorial.com.
“Les lived most of his life in White Rock, B.C,” the obituary reads. “After graduating from high school he was immediately hired on to Sea Span Tugs and worked the next four years along the coast of B.C. He loved being on the water, just not in it. In October 1972 Les was hired on as a full-time firefighter with the City of Surrey Fire Service and retired as Captain Les Dionne Badge #55 in June 2009, after 40 years of service including his volunteer time.”
The other firefighters to be honoured in Victoria on Monday are:
Douglas Angrove, Nanaimo Local 905
James Armstrong, Richmond Local 1286
Karl Heinz Bessler, Richmond Local 1286
Tim Boutin, Trail Local 941
Robert W. Chapman, Vancouver Local 18
Richard A. Couch, Victoria Local 730
Roy Davies, Burnaby Local 323
Donald M. King, Cranbrook Local 1253
Tim Kernighan, Coquitlam Local 1782
Bryan Kongus, Richmond Local 1286
Robert H. Martens, Richmond Local 1286
Joseph Nick, Port Coquitlam Local 1941
Robert R. A. Rosenlund, Vancouver Local 18
Troy Russell, West Kelowna Local 4457