Monday, September 8, 2014

Calgary Fire Department Honour Guard vigilant in honouring fallen

On Sept. 9, The City of Calgary will honour Calgary firefighters who have died in the line of duty, or as result of illnesses relating from their job, at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

The event takes place at noon on Sept. 9 in the Police Officers and Firefighters Tribute Plaza outside of the City of Calgary Municipal Building, 800 Macleod Trail SE.

The Calgary Fire Department Honour Guard will stand at attention with flags waving in support of their fallen comrades, and all Calgarians are invited to come out and join them at the Memorial.

Recognizing the risks of the job

The honour guard, made up of more than 25 members of the fire department, is a tradition unique and dear to uniformed professions, including the military and police.

“The purpose is really to ensure that our fellow firefighters, their families and emergency responders, as well as the public we serve, are aware of the sacrifice and courage that it takes to do a job that requires putting your life at risk,” explains Captain Terry Larson, the honour guard's commander. Captain Larson will lead the ceremonial and formal tribute.

“It is our job [as the Calgary Fire Honour Guard] to go to every funeral of a fallen Calgary firefighter alongside the Fire Chief or his representative, and present the family with a firefighter cap and flag. This doesn’t happen in almost any other profession,” says Larson. “The families really do appreciate it, and that makes it even more important for us.”

Fire at the McTavish Block resulted in firefighter's death

The honour guard has a very proud history in Calgary. The group was formed in 1971 following the death of Lieutenant Harold E. Smith. Lieutenant Smith died while fighting a large fire at the McTavish block on 9th Avenue and 2nd Street S.E.

“Whether a firefighter dies swinging the axe, or from an illness related to the job, their efforts in saving the lives of others is vital to our quality of life in Canada,” explains Captain Larson.

Captain Larson, alongside other Calgary firefighters and honour guard members, will also pay tribute to their fallen colleagues from the International Association of Firefighters and from across Canada in two ceremonies later this month.

Learn more about the Calgary Fire Honour Guard and the Calgary Fire Department.

Submitted by Bridget Cox, Fire

1 comment:

  1. I would like to pay tribute to my Uncle Ron Renard who was a firefighter for over 33 years. As well Garry Rivers who also was a firefighter for many years. Blessing to you all. Respectfully yours Heather MacKay