Port Edward Fire Chief Jason Geisbrecht said International Firefighters Day is one to reflect on fallen fighters and appreciate those still serving. Geisbrecht is proud to have a crew of more than 54 per cent female firefighters. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Port Edward Fire Chief Jason Geisbrecht said International Firefighters Day is one to reflect on fallen fighters and appreciate those still serving. Geisbrecht is proud to have a crew of more than 54 per cent female firefighters. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

International Firefighters Day is May 4

To remember those who have lost their lives and appreciate those still serving - Jason Geisbrecht

International Firefighters Day on May 4 is a day to remember those in the service who have lost their lives, Jason Giesbrecht Chief of Port Edward Fire Department said.

“It’s a day to thank them for their service and it’s a day to appreciate firefighters that are still serving as well,” he said.

Geisbrecht is incredibly proud of the crew in Port Edward. They are all volunteers who give freely of their time and six out of the 11 firefighters are female, he said, making his team one that is balanced and diverse.

International Fire Firefighters day was initiated by a female firefighter for May 4, after she sent a global email to departments across the world campaigning for the day of remembrance because of five firefighters who lost their lives battling a 1999 wildfire in Victoria, Australia. As the team headed out away from the fire to refill the tanker, the wind changed engulfing the truck in flames. The fellow firefighter from another detachment reached out across the world to other departments to join in solidarity.

The date was chosen for its link to St. Florian who is the patron saint of all firefighters. He was the first Roman Empire commander of a firefighting squad. In Europe, May 4th is known as a ‘Day of Fire Service’ as well as St. Florian’s Day. St. Florian’s Day has been a tradition for more than 150 years.

Geisbrecht said he had the honour and privilege a few years ago to attend the Colorado Springs Fallen Fighters Memorial. The names of more than 8,100 firefighters who have died in fires or from chronic illnesses related to their work since 1918, are etched into the memorial walls.

Thousands attend an annual remembrance ceremony with numbers growing every year.

”It’s just walls and walls of firefighters’ names. It’s a very humbling experience,” Geisbrecht said. “What is especially heartrending is how many walls are still there empty and just waiting for names,”.

K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As the BC CDC reports on May 5 declining pandemic numbers and only one case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert, the vehicles parked outside the local testing center also decrease. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert COVID-19 numbers down again

Second outbreak at Acropolis declared over

Northern Health Authority is requesting local residents to refrain from attending the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital unless necessary, as some services have been affected by a fire on May 5. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Fire at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital creates a reduction in services

Northern Health is asking residents to not attend hospital unless necessary

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Prince Rupert Firefighters Dylan Sidoni, Jon Bonneschranz and Derek Kormendi were commended in April with receiving the department’s first life-saving award, after they rescued a male victim from a burning building on Oct. 5, 2020. Tim Dopko, not present, was awarded Firefighter of the Year. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert Firefighters receive awards

New awards presented commending outstanding efforts for life-saving and firefighter of the year

Shawn Pettitt retired as Port Edward Fire Cheif and was honoured by the crew with the presentation of a specially engraved fire axe on April 20. (Photo: Supplied)
30-years of dedication to fire department

Retired Port Edward fire chief’s service is honoured by department

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same

With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Federal police unit takes over probe of B.C. regional district’s spending

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

A black bear made a visit to downtown Vancouver Tuesday, May 4. The animal was spotted on train tracks in Gastown shortly after at 2:30 p.m. (Twitter/Craig Minielly)
VIDEO: Black bear spotted meandering around downtown Vancouver

The bear was reportedly tranquilized by conservation officers Tuesday afternoon

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Interior Health locks out Kelowna martial arts gym following COVID violations

Actions were taken after all other steps to gain compliance were exhausted, says health authority

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Arrest made after man spits, yells anti-Asian racial slurs at Victoria mom and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

Most Read