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

Comox Valley Operation Christmas Child shoebox drive entering final days

Deadline for donations is Saturday, November 17

Agreement signed to purchase, restore, manage Kus-kus-sum

A memorandum of understanding has been officially signed to purchase, restore and… Continue reading

Cumberland moves one step closer to single-use plastic ban

Council discussed a phased ban, starting with plastic bags and straws

Police investigate liquor store robbery in Courtenay

On Nov. 13 at approximately 12:30 p.m., the Comox Valley RCMP received… Continue reading

School District 71 board sworn in

A new four-year term for the school district Board of Education commenced… Continue reading

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Most Read