Hundreds gather to honour fallen B.C. firefighter

West Kelowna Fire Captain Troy Russell died of brain cancer on Sept. 25

  • Oct. 9, 2018 2:02 p.m.

It was a hero’s sendoff for Captain Troy Russell.

More than 1,000 people lined West Kelowna streets to honour the long-time firefighter, including family and friends, and his fire-fighting comrades.

Russel lost his battle to cancer on Sept. 25 — his death is the is the first line-of-duty death for West Kelowna Fire Rescue, as the cancer he experienced was directly related to his work as a firefighter.

It was Russel’s request to have his funeral procession at the Royal LePage hockey arena in West Kelowna surrounded by Canadian flags.

RELATED: West Kelowna firefighter dies from cancer

The procession left from 1655 Westgate Road at 11:45 a.m. and travelled eastbound on Ross Road to Hewl Road, then southbound on Hewl Road to Royal LePage Place. Family members, fire service personnel, emergency personnel and vehicles, travelled under two ladder trucks that raised ladders in the form of an arch.

Ruth and Ron Dobbin watched their son, who is a firefighter in Edmonton, march in the ceremony. Ruth said her son had played hockey and baseball with Russell.

“Thank goodness it didn’t rain, and it’s a very nice turnout,” she said.

The pair said it was a nice sendoff, adding they last saw Russell in the cancer clinic in July.

A recent study, titled Determinants of Injury and Death in Canadian Firefighters: A Case for a National Firefighter Wellness Surveillance System, found that 86 per cent of all firefighter workplace fatality claims were blamed on cancer, and firefighters are killed by cancer at a rate about three times higher than the general population.

Cancer rates among firefighters increase dramatically with age, with the 35-to-39-year-old group accounting for only one per cent of workplace fatal cancer claims among firefighters. The 60-to-64-year-old group accounts for 17 per cent of the fatal cancer claims, while the 65 and older group makes up nearly half of the claims.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Andrew Scheer makes campaign stop in Parksville

Federal Conservative leader talks tax cuts, environment

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the Courtenay-Alberni riding

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Alberni riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

Ballenas Whalers high school football squads take down Belmont

Parksville teams score back-to-back shutout wins over Bulldogs

Qualicum Beach goalie at training camp with Montreal Canadiens

LaCouvee angling for spot with AHL Laval squad

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Most Read