A full line of duty funeral is being planned for Columbia Valley volunteer firefighter Brian Smyth.
The 57 year old suffered a cardiac arrest while fighting a fire on Iverson Road near Cultus Lake on March 4. He had been a member of the Columbia Valley Volunteer Fire Department for seven years.
The fire had started at about 5 p.m., and the lone occupant of the home exited safely. At about 9:20 p.m., the regional district said Smyth sought medical attention and was treated on scene. He was then flown to Royal Columbian Hospital, and remained on life support for two days.
The FVRD’s Jennifer Kinneman said Smyth “passed away peacefully in the presence of family and friends.”
“Smyth continues to give back to others in death, as he donated his organs to save the lives of others,” she added.
Smyth is survived by a sister, nephew, grand niece and many friends and neighbours, the FVRD noted.
The Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC has sent its condolences to Smyth’s family, to Columbia Valley’s Fire Chief Mike Soth and to the entire fire department.
“Events like this remind us all of the dangers firefighters face on a regular bases in service and protection to their communities,” said FCABC president Timothy Pley, calling it “truly a sad time for everyone.”
Smyth’s name was to be read out on Monday as part of the BC Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Victoria. Hundreds were expected to converge there to remember the lives of those lost in 2014 and 2015.
Members of the FVRD board also sent out condolences to Smyth’s friends, family and colleagues.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Smyth’s family, the Columbia Valley Volunteer Fire Department, and the community,” said Chilliwack mayor and FVRD board chair Sharon Gaetz. “We are deeply saddened.”
“I know that Brian was well loved by his fellow firefighters and a respected, longtime resident of the community,” said Taryn Dixon, Electoral Area H director. “His presence will be greatly missed.”
The funeral will begin at Chilliwack Alliance Church at 8700 Young Road on Friday, March 20, beginning at 12:30.
The formal funeral procession begins at Chilliwack Central Road and Baker Drive. Temporary road closures are between 10:30 and 2:30 on Brooks Ave., Baker Drive, Chilliwack Central Road and Young Road.