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

Final key components for Johnson Street Bridge installed this weekend in Victoria

Dynamic Beast crane barge arrives back in town on Friday

Police seek owner of sailboat beached in Oak Bay

Residents reminded to steer clear of the vessel

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Most Read