The daughters of former Oak Bay Assistant Fire Chief Fred Briggs

Honour for Oak Bay firefighters

Firefighter who died in the line of duty remembered

As it celebrated its 75th anniversary, the Oak Bay Fire Department also honoured some of its longtime firefighters and one who died in the line of duty.

Assistant Fire Chief Fred Briggs had just returned from a call when he collapsed at the fire hall from a heart attack. His fellow firefighters attempted to resuscitate him but Briggs died.

That was Nov. 13, 1969. Forty-three years later, his three daughters shed tears again as their dad was honoured by the department he loved.

Fire Chief Gerry Adam said Briggs, “was  one of the most respected men. A guy who never had a bad word about anybody.”

Briggs, an avid golfer, likely died happy his family says, as he got a hole-in-one on the Uplands Golf course on the morning he died.

“I’ve only met two people in my life that you could say were men’s men,” said former firefighter Glen Robbins. “He was one of them.”

Robbins worked with Briggs when he was just a rookie. He looked up to the older man. “He was a giant of a man. Very quiet. At the time, I was a young buck and he took me (under his wing) and treated me like a son.”

Briggs death was not considered to be in the line of duty at the time. A change in attitude towards health risks taken by firefighters precipitated the ceremony.

The Oak Bay Fire Department dedicated an oak tree at the fire hall in his memory, to recognize his contributions and his service to the department.

Briggs’ name has also been added to the firefighter memorial at the rear of the B.C. Legislature.

During the ceremony, five Oak Bay firefighters were also honoured for their contributions to the department. Deputy Chief David Cockle, Assistant Chief Colin Mantik, Assistant Chief Cameron Thomson, Captain Ken Gill and Fire Inspector Robert Kivell were all given long service medals.

Go to the Oak Bay News’ Facebook page to see photos of the ceremony.


Just Posted

Award-winning harmonica player transforms instrument on stage

Carlos del Junco plays Upstairs Lounge Friday March 23

Lilia Zaharieva wants to share her medical good fortune

UVic student wants treatment for cystic fibrosis made available for all

Piano campaign purchases piano and more for Oak Bay theatre

Surplus funds sound mixer and console for Dave Dunnet Community Theatre

Latitude 48 Paddling Club races through Victoria waters

Local team clinched victory in Nanaimo to kick off season that will see them compete in Hawaii

Greater Victoria police busy with St. Patrick’s Day calls

Victoria police respond to 82 calls for service

Monterey student sale a swarming success

Community shows up in record number for middle school event

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

America’s Musical Journey premieres at the IMAX

Enter to win tickets to an invite only concert at your community newspaper’s Facebook page

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Mount Douglas Mathletes enjoying success by the numbers

Saanich Grade 9s walk away with top five spots in Island math competition

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Most Read