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.

 

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

Just Posted

Oak Bay wins Vancouver Island basketball championship

Third-place NDSS will get to challenge second place Claremont for a berth in provincials

Hundreds of wax figures find new life in Saanich man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Peninsula Eagles will host Midget T2 provincial championships

Provincial championships will take place at Panorama Recreation March 15 to 19

UPDATED: Hit and run results in damaged fire hydrant, flooding on Richmond Road

Registered owner issued $360 ticket, responsible for repair costs

Saanich’s senior race car driver not slowing down

Bill Okell kicks off 2020 season at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California on Feb. 21

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay Victoria man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

Most Read