From the Kingston Whig Standard, April 25
Island firefighter dies after blaze
Yesterday would have been Gary Bryant’s first day back at work after a long winter off-season.
Bryant, who worked as part of a crew that paints strips in parking lots and highways, died last week after helping to extinguish a small brush fire on Wolfe Island.
The 54-year-old had recently joined the 24-member Wolfe Island volunteer fire department. Moments after a contingent of volunteer firefighters, including Bryant, put out a small blaze behind a row of houses on Highway 96, he suffered a heart attack.
He was taken to Kingston General Hospital by the Wolfe Island ambulance, but could not be revived by firefighters or ambulance workers.
“I didn’t know him that well, but probably as well as anybody,” said Wolfe Island volunteer fire Chief James White. “I remember him being very eager to join the fire department and give back to the community. He was willing to learn whatever he had to to join.”
Bryant lived by himself in the old ferry terminal building in the heart of the village of Marysville, next door to Mosier’s Groceries.
“He was our next door neighbour,” said Sherry Mosier, who work at Mosier’s Groceries. “He was very friendly, always a happy-go-lucky man, that’s for sure.”
Paul LaRush owns the home Bryant lived in and described his tenant as someone who liked to talk about his two boys, Luke and Josh McCann-Bryant.
“He was very close with them and very proud of them,” LaRush said.
Several island residents said Bryant hadn’t lived on Wolfe Island very long and mostly kept to himself.
They say he came to the island from the Kitchener area. White says he was an avid photographer who could be seen with his camera taking pictures of the island’s wildlife.
“He had always wanted to live here and he was quite happy here,” White said.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday. At about 9:45 a.m. that day, the Wolfe Island fire truck will load Bryant’s casket at the Gordon F. Thompkins Funeral Home on Colborne Street.
It will then be given a police escort as it travels down Queen Street along with a city pumper truck to the Wolfe Island ferry dock, where the fire truck will board the 10:30 a.m. boat to the island.
Once there, the truck will be greeted by a large contingent of local firefighters, including an honour guard.
The procession will then go to Sacred Heart of Mary Church, where Rev. Terry Wood will officiate the funeral.
Kingston Deputy Chief Gary Bullock spent much of yesterday on the phone with fire chiefs from a number of jurisdictions who said they’ll be sending some of their firefighters to attend the funeral.
Bullock said firefighters from departments in Kingston, Napanee, Brockville, Kemptville, Elizabethtown, Rideau Lakes, Leeds-Greenville and from Lanark-Frontenac and Lennox and Addington counties.
“It will be very well-attended,” he said. “Thank the Good Lord this is not a common thing. It’s something very close to anyone in emergency services.”
Kingston Chief Harold Tulk confirmed that his department will send a “sizeable” contingent of firefighters to the funeral.
“It hits home with everybody who works in fire services, regardless of career or volunteer,” Tulk said.
“These people go out and perform and serve their fellow human being and he perished in that process. That’s the ultimate sacrifice.”
White says regardless of how well Bryant was known on the island, his contribution won’t soon be forgotten.
“He gave his heart and soul for our community,” he said, “and we thank him for that.”
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04-25-2006, 05:58 PM #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2002
Ontario--Firefighter Dies at Fire
04-25-2006, 09:52 PM #2
Rest in peace.
04-25-2006, 10:11 PM #3
Rest In Peace BrotherIf someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
04-26-2006, 12:22 PM #4
- Join Date
- May 2005
Rest In Peace brother - our prayers are with you and your family
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