Ontario's fallen firefighters honoured at Queen's Park
Published Sunday, October 3, 2010 6:22PM EDT
Hundreds of firefighters and family members gathered as the names of 31 of their fallen brothers and sisters were added to Ontario's firefighter memorial at Queen's Park in Toronto on Sunday.
The names of 31 firefighters, who died in the line of duty or from an occupational disease, were added to the 500 already engraved on the columns of the memorial.
Premier Dalton McGuinty said the province was safer thanks to the hard work and dedication of Ontario's firefighters.
"The number of lives you have saved through prevention can't be calculated, but it should never be underestimated," McGuinty said Sunday morning while addressing the crowd, most dressed in uniform.
"If a fire does break out we know that you will come when you are called. We know that if duty calls on you to make a sacrifice, you will answer that call no matter what. The families of the 31 firefighters being honoured today can attest to that."
The Ontario Fire Fighter Memorial was dedicated in 2005 and now contains the names, ranks and dates of death of 531 fallen firefighters.
Sunday marked the beginning of Fire Prevention Week in Ontario. This year's theme, smoke alarms, underlines the importance the alert system has in saving the lives of Ontario families and preventing the deaths of more brave heroes.
"When I look over these 531 names I am grateful for the countless lives that they have touched and helped during their careers," Fred LeBlanc, president of the Ontario Professional Firefighters Association, said in a statement.
"It fills me with pride to share this profession with these brave members. They were great firefighters doing their job."
With files from The Canadian Press