Ontario honours 8 fallen firefighters, 1 police officer
Published Sunday, November 23, 2014 3:38PM EST Last Updated Sunday, November 23, 2014 6:55PM EST
Ontario’s premier paid honour Sunday to eight firefighters and a police officer who lost their lives.
“It’s a service we do not take for granted, a sacrifice that we shall never forget,” Kathleen Wynne told the friends and family of those who had died.
They were at Queen’s Park Sunday for a special Tribute to the Fallen ceremony.
The Tribute to the Fallen began in 2006 as a way for the province to thank the men and women in uniform for their contribution to society.
“Tragic events in recent weeks remind us that our soldiers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics live with the possibility of coming to harm every single day,” Wynne said.
Wynne also took time to thank the families. “You knew all too well the risks they assumed when they walked out the door,” she said. “On behalf of all Ontarians, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
The premier presented bronze Tribute to the Fallen plaques to the families of:
• Captain Ted Heydon, New Tecumseth Fire Rescue, died May 2007
• Captain Jack Insley, Havelock Bellmont Methuen Fire Department, died January 2008
• Firefighter Kevin James, Southwold Township Fire Department, died July 2014
• Firefighter John Clark Nesom, The City of Sault Ste. Marie Fire Department, died July 2014
• Firefighter David Earl O'Brien, Toronto Fire Department, died October 2013
• Firefighter Hank Smit, Sarnia Fire Rescue Services, died April 2014
• Firefighter Edward Tothe, Brantford Fire Department, died August 2013
• Firefighter Lawrence Walker, Cambridge Fire Department, died December 2013
• Constable John Zivcic, Toronto Police Service, died December 2013
Caitlin James, whose firefighter husband Kevin James died in July of a workplace-related cancer, said the tribute was “moving.”
“It’s very nice to see them acknowledging the sacrifice,” she said.
Her husband was a strong man who liked the outdoors and worked hard. “He just gave everything he had,” she added.
Since 2006, the Tribute to the Fallen has been awarded to 218 people.