Fire Fighting in Canada

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Chad memorial park honours fallen firefighter

July 2006 - North Thompson Times - The Chad Memorial Park in Clearwater, B.C., was officially opened to the public

December 14, 2007
By LAUREL SMITH

July 2006 – North Thompson Times – The Chad Memorial Park in Clearwater, B.C., was officially opened to the public on a cold, drizzly Saturday, May 20. The park is in recognition of a local firefighter, Chad (The Axe) Schapansky, who lost his life during a structural fire on March 29, 2004 at the age of 23.

Many friends, family, and those who knew Schapansky, were present to honour his memory.

The idea for the park originated with Bert Walker, Thompson-Nicola Regional District director, who felt during Schapansky’s church service that something needed to be done to credit the memory of the brave firefighter. “At the service I thought, what can we do to honour this young man?”, said Walker.

Walker immediately spoke with Mark Salden, Clearwater’s fire chief, and together with the Rotary they concocted the idea for the park.

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Walker said there is still some finishing touches to be done, such as fencing, shade trees and proper lighting. The park will be have open space for kids to play in and there is some talk of putting in a fire truck shaped playground in the future.

“Chad was a young person who dedicated himself to his work and his community and lost his life in his service,” said Walker.

Salden, who also spoke during the service, said the memory of Schapansky will live on within the community through the park. “Chad was very well liked and respected in this community. Chad may be gone but he will truly never be gone.”