Ontario’s Fire Fighters assembled on October 1st at the Ontario Fire Fighters Memorial near Queen’s Park to honour fire fighters who have died in the line of duty. This annual tradition includes representatives from professional fire fighters, volunteer fire fighters, fire chiefs, and the Ontario government.
“This is a sombre occasion, but it is also an opportunity for us to gather, remember our fallen brothers and sisters, and offer some comfort to the loved ones left behind,” said Rob Hyndman, President of the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association. “The Ontario Fire Service is an extended family, and events like this allow us to grieve with the wives, husbands, children, and parents of those who have lost a loved one.”
The names of fallen fire fighters are inscribed on a monument located near Queen’s Park Circle, northeast of College Street. The Memorial is staged on a red Maltese Cross, which is an international symbol for firefighting. A bronze sculpture depicts a modern-day fire fighter rescuing a child from peril with a towering black granite monolith representing a building behind. White granite walls surround it, with the name, rank, and date of death of Ontario's fallen fire fighters.
Steven Buckingham, representing the Ontario Fire Fighters Memorial Committee added that, “The annual Memorial Ceremony is one opportunity for fire fighters across Ontario to remind ourselves that we face many of the same challenges, no matter what uniform we wear.”
The earliest known line of duty death was William Thornton, who died on November 24, 1848.