Have you thanked a firefighter today?
Today and everyday firefighters across the West Kootenay, province, country, – and well beyond – put themselves in harm’s way to keep communities safe.
Those who work within Kootenay Boundary Fire Rescue are also first responders, thus besides fires, often they are the first on scene at medical calls, car accidents, river rescues, and countless other life-threatening events.
This is a reminder because today, Sept. 12, is Firefighters’ National Memorial Day, which recognizes firefighters killed directly in the line of duty, and those who have died resulting from hazards, bio and otherwise, they were exposed to on the job.
“Today, flags will fly at half-mast over the Parliament Buildings in Victoria to honour firefighters here in British Columbia and across Canada who have made the ultimate sacrifice while answering the call of duty. This year, we mark Firefighters’ National Memorial Day at a time when these sacrifices are top of mind for so many of us,” Premier John Horgan said in a Sept. 12 release.
“Here in B.C., we are coming through one of the most devastating wildfire seasons on record. We have counted on those battling the blazes to save lives, homes and entire communities. Yesterday, our neighbours to the south in the United States commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, a day when 344 firefighters went to work and never returned home.
“These are powerful reminders of just how selfless firefighters are. They are real-life superheroes who run into the danger the rest of us run away from. But to many, they are also a parent, a child, a sibling or a cherished neighbour. When a firefighter falls in the line of duty, we all feel it – none more so than the family and friends left behind.
“Our government has made great strides to ensure firefighters are protected on the job and have better access to the compensation and mental health services they deserve. However, we know there is much more to do to support the first responders who protect us.
“As our thoughts turn today to everyone who grieves the loss of a loved one, we also pledge to do more to help the firefighters still with us who suffer from traumas and injuries – visible and invisible. We will honour their sacrifices by working hard to build on the progress we have made.”