Hundreds gather to honour fallen West Kelowna firefighter

West Kelowna Fire Captain Troy Russell died of brain cancer on Sept. 25

It was a hero’s sendoff for Captain Troy Russell.

More than 1,000 people lined West Kelowna streets to honour the long-time firefighter, including family and friends, and his fire-fighting comrades.

Russel lost his battle to cancer on Sept. 25 — his death is the is the first line-of-duty death for West Kelowna Fire Rescue, as the cancer he experienced was directly related to his work as a firefighter.

It was Russel’s request to have his funeral procession at the Royal LePage hockey arena in West Kelowna surrounded by Canadian flags.

RELATED: West Kelowna firefighter dies from cancer

The procession left from 1655 Westgate Road at 11:45 a.m. and travelled eastbound on Ross Road to Hewl Road, then southbound on Hewl Road to Royal LePage Place. Family members, fire service personnel, emergency personnel and vehicles, travelled under two ladder trucks that raised ladders in the form of an arch.

Ruth and Ron Dobbin watched their son, who is a firefighter in Edmonton, march in the ceremony. Ruth said her son had played hockey and baseball with Russell.

“Thank goodness it didn’t rain, and it’s a very nice turnout,” she said.

The pair said it was a nice sendoff, adding they last saw Russell in the cancer clinic in July.

A recent study, titled Determinants of Injury and Death in Canadian Firefighters: A Case for a National Firefighter Wellness Surveillance System, found that 86 per cent of all firefighter workplace fatality claims were blamed on cancer, and firefighters are killed by cancer at a rate about three times higher than the general population.

Cancer rates among firefighters increase dramatically with age, with the 35-to-39-year-old group accounting for only one per cent of workplace fatal cancer claims among firefighters. The 60-to-64-year-old group accounts for 17 per cent of the fatal cancer claims, while the 65 and older group makes up nearly half of the claims.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Liam’s Lowdown: Revelstoke’s ‘trashy’ future

The CSRD peg the cost of the new composting facility at roughly $500,000

Adapting to love along the Columbia River

One man starts a GoFundme to help his partner with health costs caused on the trip where they met

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

Snow to continue in Revelstoke

Up to 15 cm expected

Kootenay-Columbia MP urges end to ‘illegal roadblocks’ in solidarity with pipeline dispute

Rob Morrison says protestors across Canada need to remove roadblocks on roads, rail lines

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Prolific offenders from Alberta lead RCMP on chase from Kelowna to Abbotsford

Men first reported in Chilliwack ending with allegedly stolen vehicle in an Abbotsford pond

Adapting to love along the Columbia River

One man starts a GoFundme to help his partner with health costs caused on the trip where they met

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Most Read