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

Handmade for Hope proposal at Orca Place denied by council

Motion carried to allow use of the former temporary shelter space as exercise room instead

Ballenas Whalers advance to junior varsity Subway Bowl title game

Parksville squad will play for provincial high school football crown

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs drop a close game in Parksville

Spruce Kings come back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3

Language showcase at Qualicum Beach Museum

2019 is the year of Indigenous languages

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

Vancouver Island hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Cowichan Milk Company: from grass to glass, bottled milk right to your door

Farm stand open 6 days a week, and home delivery is available everywhere from Mill Bay to Chemainus.

Most Read