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Fire fighter dies at scene


December 7, 2007
By Fire Fighting in Canada

Firefighter James Bryant of the Wolfe Island Fire Department, (Township of Frontenac Islands), just outside Kingston, Ont....

Firefighter James Bryant of the Wolfe Island Fire Department, (Township of Frontenac Islands), just outside Kingston, Ont., died in the line of duty April 19, suffering an apparent heart attack while cleaning  up after a large grass fire. Bryant and fellow fire fighters were picking up hose and equipment with a pick-up truck to take it back up the road to their pumper when he collapsed. He was 55 years old and had been a member of the volunteer department for almost two years.

A funeral with full fire department honours was held April 26 on Wolfe Island. More than 200 fire fighters from across Ontario attended to pay their respects to their fallen comrade. Representatives of the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation attended and presented memorial pins to the Wolfe Island fire fighters.

An article on the Wolfe Island web site posted by Margaret Knott, noted that at the island ferry terminal, fire fighters and other emergency service workers formed a guard of honour at the arrival of the ferry with Wolfe Island’s pumper carrying the helmet and flag-draped casket of their brother fire fighter. The pumper caisson was accompanied by island fire fighters, Fire Chief James White, Deputy Chief Tim Hawkins, Howe Island Chief Mike Quinn, family members and friends. Also waiting at the dock were the mayor and members of Frontenac Island council.

Provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing John Gerretsen, the local MPP, and Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Monty Kwinter, Ontario Fire Marshal Bernard Moyle and many fire chiefs from across the province attended the moving ceremony.

The church was filled to capacity. Bryant’s sons, Josh and Luke McCann-Bryant, the mayor, Chief White and other dignitaries spoke about Bryant as a father, a dedicated citizen, a fire fighter who made the supreme sacrifice, “a hero to us.”

But in the end it was the members of the Wolfe Island Fire Department who carried their brother to his final place of rest at Point Alexander cemetery.

Rest in peace, brother