Fire Fighting in Canada

Association launches drive for memorial

Ontario's professional firefighters have announced a $500,000 fundraising initiative that will result in the restoration of the province's Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial, which was damaged as the result of a shocking act of vandalism earlier this year.

October 6, 2008 
By Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association

The Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association (OPFFA)
is pleased to recognize the significant contribution made by the Ontario
government as part of this initiative, and the OPFFA is asking all of its
members as well as other fire service stakeholders and fire equipment suppliers
to contribute to the fund, as well as members of the public.

"I hope that all Ontarians will consider making a
contribution to this fund, because these firefighters gave their lives while
protecting the lives and property of the public," says OPFFA president
Fred LeBlanc. "We owe it to our fallen and their families to ensure that
their memorial is a respectable and dignified tribute to their sacrifice."

Contributions to the Ontario Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial
Restoration Fund can be made at any TD Canada Trust branch in Ontario – account
number 239 5214118.
It is hoped to have the monument restored in time for the 2009 Fallen Fire
Fighter Memorial.

At about 9 p.m. on
May 12, a lone male approached the monument, which is on the grounds of the
Ontario Legislature at Queen's Park. He painted slogans on several of its
granite walls, which are inscribed with the names of 483 full-time and
volunteer firefighters who have died in the line of duty in Ontario
since 1848. This was not a random act of vandalism; the slogans were political
in nature and specifically targeted firefighters.

In June, the OPFFA, in conjunction with the International
Association of Fire Fighters and the Manitoba Professional Fire Fighters
Association, offered an $11,000 reward for information leading to the arrest
and conviction of the individual who committed this crime. The award still
stands, and anyone with information can contact the OPP.

"This monument is not just for firefighters and our
families, it's a place that all Ontarians can visit and reflect on the
sacrifices made on their behalf by firefighters who have died in the line of
duty," LeBlanc says. The fundraising initiative was announced at Queen's
Park Friday at a ceremony also attended by Minister of Community Safety and
Correctional Services Rick Bartolucci, Tim
Beckett of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs and Dave Thomson of the Fire
Fighters Association of Ontario.

"The Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association is
committed to seeing Ontario's
Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial restored to its original condition, and we're
committed to ensuring that the person responsible for vandalizing it is caught
and punished," LeBlanc said. "We are grateful to anyone who helps
accomplish these two important goals."

The OPFFA represents 10,000 full-time fire fighters in the province
of Ontario. The OPFFA is affiliated
with the Ontario Federation of Labour and the International Association of Fire
Fighters, AFL-CIO,


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