Firefighters pass through town on memorial ride

Cyclists from the Toronto Professional Firefighters Celtic Society pause for a picture in Napanee Thursday after riding from Toronto earlier that day. They were on their way to Ottawa for the Fallen Firefighter Memorial, which was held this past weekend in the nation's capital. (Adam Prudhomme photo)

By Adam Prudhomme
Staff Reporter

A pack of Toronto Professional Firefighters Celtic Society members made Napanee their home for the night on Thursday en route to Ottawa for this weekend’s Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Ottawa.

Earlier in the day the 13 member crew had departed from Toronto on bicycles and pedalled their way 225 km to Napanee, where they spent the night at Masterson’s Motel. Upon their arrival they were greeted by firefighters from Greater Napanee Emergency Services.

On Friday they were up early and hit the road for another 225 km ride into Ottawa.

The ride aimed to raise funds and awareness for the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Fund, which supports families of firefighters who pass away across Canada while in the line of duty. They’re aiming to raise $10,000 through their bike ride.

“The foundation brings the families to Ottawa every year that have passed away,” said Toronto Professional Firefighter’s Celtic Society president David Cossitt, who was among the riders taking part. “There’s 13 families that are being brought to Ottawa this year and 74 names are being added to the wall.”

They departed Toronto early Thursday morning and made a brief stop in Whitby before pushing ahead to Napanee where they were met by a big red fire truck and members of the GNES.

“There’s a strong firefighter family across the province,” Cossitt said of being welcomed by GNES members who had never met him before upon their arrival in Napanee. “It’s nice. You contact them and they’re always willing to help.”

This year in particular is a special one for firefighters, as it marks 100 years since the Halifax explosion.

“Nine firefighters died in that explosion,” said Cossitt. “It’s the biggest one day fatality in the history of Canada.”

Anyone looking to donate to the ride can do so online at

error: Content is protected !!