Canadian Firefighter Magazine

24 Montreal firefighters honoured at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Ottawa on Sunday, September 11

By Association des pompiers de Montréal   


Sept. 12, 2022, Ottawa –  24 Montreal firefighters will have their names inscribed in perpetuity on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial during a major ceremony this Sunday, September 11, starting at 10:30 a.m., in conjunction with the annual Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation (CFFF) ceremony. The event will take place at the base of the Firefighters’ Monument located on LeBreton Flats in the nation’s capital at the intersections of Lett St. & Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway on LeBreton.

A special tribute will be paid, in front of hundreds of people from across Canada and even the United States, to firefighter Pierre Lacroix who tragically lost his life on last October 17 in the Lachine Rapids during a rescue operation of two boaters who ultimately survived after capsizing, possibly due to a particularly violent and untimely wave. Firefighter Lacroix, 58 years old and on the verge of retirement, was trapped under the overturned boat.

“All of Montreal’s firefighters are still heartbroken at the thought of this highly esteemed colleague’s tragic death,” said Chris Ross, president of the Montreal Firefighters Association today. For him, the ultimate sacrifice of firefighter Lacroix, at the risk of his life, will remain forever in the memory of Montreal firefighters for whom the sacrifice of their lives is an acceptance of the risky profession they have embraced. In addition, 24 other Montreal firefighters, who died of various cancers most likely contracted in the line of duty, will have their names inscribed in perpetuity on the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation (CFFF) monument.

These firefighters are:  

  1. Jacques Auger – Capitaine
  2. André Bertrand – Capitaine
  3. Serge Buron – Capitaine
  4. Marcel Champagne – Lieutenant
  5. Marcel Charbonneau – Pompier
  6. Raymond Charlebois – Pompier
  7. André Comeau – Lieutenant
  8. Yvon Coupal – Capitaine
  9. Jean-Guy Daigle – Lieutenant
  10. Rober Dupré – Lieutenant
  11. Normand Granger– Capitaine
  12. Denis Grégoire – Lieutenant
  13. Arthur Guillaume– Capitaine
  14. Roland Houle– Pompier
  15. Jean Fernand– Pompier
  16. Serge Lachapelle– Pompier
  17. Denis Lacombe– Pompier
  18. Pierre Lacroix– Pompier
  19. Pierre Léonard- Pompier
  20. Rémi Neveu- Pompier
  21. Joseph Ortuso– Pompier
  22. Réal Rabeau- Capitaine
  23. Marcel Riendeau– Pompier
  24. Gérald Riopel- Lieutenant
  25. Bernard Tremblay– Lieutenant

“These firefighters who gave their lives for the protection and safety of citizens will remain our heroes, day in and day out, and will be remembered forever by the firefighting family as well as by the public and the citizens they knowingly served,” said Mr. Ross.

The President of the Montreal Firefighters Association also noted that the deaths of these 20 firefighters were obviously attributed to cancers contracted as a result of exposure to various toxins.  In any case, the president of the APM added, all other cancers, besides the 9 types of cancers recognized as occupational diseases, are not recognized as such in Quebec, contrary to Ontario and several other provinces and territories, as occupational diseases.

It is high time, concluded Mr. Ross, that Quebec shows realism and compassion in this matter for the firefighters who continue to show an extraordinary courage and spirit of renunciation in the exercise of their duties so that their fellow citizens can continue to live in safety.

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