Fire Fighting in Canada

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Chiefs associations extend condolences to fallen

Dec. 30, 2011, Ottawa – The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) extended condolences Friday to the families of two firefighters killed on the job this week.

December 30, 2011 
By Laura King

The CAFC said in separate press releases that Daniel Botkin, 29, of the Enderby and District Fire Department in British Columbia, and Paul Nelson, 21, of the Nipissing Township Fire Department in Ontario, are being mourned by fire services across Canada and internationally. 

CAFC president Rob Simonds said in the statements that he extends deepest condolences to the families and friends of both firefighters.  

“As firefighters and fire chiefs, we share the grief being experienced,” Chief Simonds said.

Simonds emphasized that all Canadian firefighters know they toil in a dangerous profession.   


“It is that knowledge which joins all of us together in mourning,” said Simonds, who is the fire chief in Hamilton, Ont.

Fire Chiefs Association of B.C. president Len Garis said in a statement that thoughts and prayers of the B.C. fire service are with the community as it mourns the loss of a volunteer firefighter.

"As firefighters we prepare for the worst but nothing can prepare you for a tragedy such as this," said Garis, the chief in Surrey, B.C.

Nelson, also a volunteer firefighter, died Tuesday when the pumper he was driving crashed en route to a call. A family funeral has been planned.

Botkin died Thursday in an explosion during mop up after a fire at Sperlich Log Construction in Enderby. Regional coroner Mark Coleman has ordered an autopsy and says he wants to know the exact circumstances of Botkin's death. Another firefighter was injured in the explosion. 

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