The Firefighter

The Firefighter
Successive images of The Firefighter who points to the names of the fallen. These photographs were taken between September 2012 and August 2013.

Viewing the Photographs

This blog features many photographs. These are shown on the page in a small size. They can be viewed in a larger size by clicking on them. When you do that you will get a large size photograph with a series of thumbnails below it. Clicking on any of those will bring it up in a larger size. To go back to the view of the blog, click the area outside the photograph.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Canadian Firefighters Memorial, September 27, 2015

This time I went to photograph the Canadian Firefighters Memorial I decided to detail some of the features of the memorial site. One thing I have noticed this year is that the landscape plants have done extremely well. I hope that continues.

Walkways occupy the south east corner of the memorial site. For the annual
memorial ceremony these provide a parade route for the procession of bands,
honour guard, and participating firefighters.

Landscaping adds a park like atmosphere to the memorial site and adds an
environmental aspect to the memorial intended to comfort those who have
lost a firefighter in their family or their fire department.

Stone benches provide places to sit in a quiet contemplative environment.

In the original plans for the site the wall would extend around this
contemplative area. The wall became shorter but the intent to provide
a secluded area for reflection is still accomplished.

This plaque contains The Firefighters Prayer in two languages.

Firefighter's Prayer

When I cam called to duty, God
Whenever flames may rage
Give me the strength to save a life
Whatever be its age

Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late
Or save an older person
From the horror of that fate

Enable me to be alert
And hear the weakest shout
And quickly and efficiently
Put the fire out

I want to fill my calling
To give the best im me
To guard my every neighbour
And protect their property

And if, according to your Will
I must answer death's last call
Bless with your protecting hand
My family one and all

La prière du pompier

Quand le devoir m'appelle, Dieu mon ami,
Et que les flammes sans pitié ravagent,
Donne-moi la force de sauver des vies
Et sourtout, de ne jamais perdre courage.

Avec toi, j'attendrai avant qu'il ne soit trop tard,
Le petit enfant blessé, le malheureux vieillar,
Qu'il me soit permis, dand ta générosité,
De leur épargner l'horreur de cette destinée.

Puisqu'en tout temps, il me faut être en alerte,
Je t'en prie Seigneur, guide tous mes gestes,
Dans la tumulte infernal de l'incendie,
Fais-moi entendre le plus faibles des cris.

C'est avec gloire que je remplirai ma destinée,
Sauver des vies, n'est-ce pas le plus beau des métiers?
Quand le calme revient et que chacun retrouve ses biens,
C'est alors que je serai fier d'avoir aidé mon prochain.

S'il arrivait, que par ta volonté,
Ma vie je sois obligé de donner,
Je te prie de veiller sur les miens,
Et de bénir en moi le pompier qui tien.

The structure in which the pine tree grows is essentially a very large
planter. It provides a well insulated place for the tree's roots and
incorporates a few other features. The tree, either a red or white pine
in the original plans was to be a British Columbia fir tree but the
Ottawa climate is too harsh for that tree. The pine, that grows slowly
will reach a height of about 40 metres (130 feet). Eventually it will
dominate the landscape as it represents wildland firefighters.

Beneath the text there are circular bronze caps. They can be removed to
provide a place where rods can be inserted to provide support for the
altar on which a bell and firefighter helmets are placed during the
annual memorial ceremony held on the memorial site.

The square metallic panel on the tree planter provides access to eight 20
amp outlets. These provide electric power for sound equipment used during
memorial ceremonies held on the site.

The square green panel set in the grass covers access to water. Under the
panel there is a threaded tap that will take a standard household garden
hose, and a valve to open it so that the site's plants can be watered.
This is one of two on the site. Further up there is a round manhole cover.
This allows access to the electrical and water systems on the site.

The large flat open space provides a place for people to participate in the
annual Canadian Firefighters Memorial Ceremony.

Between the two rows of plants in the forground there is a low point
covered with stones. There is a culvert under the walkway that goes
into the site and another that goes under the walkway at the edge of
the site. This feature drains excess water from the memorial site.

This hill and the stand of sugar maple trees on it provide a barrier of
sorts between the memorial site and the condominium next to it. The plan
called for stone structures on the hill similar to those on the street
face of the memorial. The planners decided to omit those structures as
they would have provided an environment for skate boarders and they
deemed inappropriate for the purpose of the site.

The bronze firefighter stands as a focal point for the memorial. Many Canadian
fire departments contributed brass fire hose couplings that became a component
of the alloy from which the sixteen foot (4.87 metres) tall statue was cast.

He points to the wall where Canadian firefighters
killed in line of duty are commemorated.

Any memorial site to firefighters should have the Maltese cross and there it
is on the Firefighter's helmet. The wording on the cross is, "Fire Service
Incendie Canada."

In 1942 Jacques Cousteau and Emilie Gagnan invented a demand valve system
that allowed divers to breathe from compressed air tanks while under water.
This system also allows firefighters to breathe uncontaminated air while
firefighting in smoke filled environments.

The firefighter wears the Canadian flag on his shoulder.

From the earliest days working toward building what became the Canadian
Firefighters Memorial everyone who heard about the work just assumed
there would be a wall with the names of firefighters who have died in
the line of duty. The wall incorporated into the chosen design is a
stylized map of Canada. As of the 2015 Canadian Firefighters Memorial
Ceremony there are 1,248 names on the wall.

The names on the wall are grouped by geographic region. For example the
part of the wall shown here represents western Canada and specifically,
British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and Northwest Territories.

A series of short vertical columns occupies the base of the wall. Alternating
columns contain lights. Each one has a small numbered plaque at its top. This
number will help those who want to find a specific name on the wall. In the
database of the fallen on the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation web
site, clicking on a firefighter's name will bring up more information about
that firefighter. Included in that information is a number that corresponds
to the closest number atop one of these columns.

Toronto Firefighter William Thornton who died in line of duty in 1848 is
the earliest known firefighter line of duty death. The earliest known
settlement in what is now Canada took place in 1601. Quebec City was
founded in 1608 and has a history of very bad fires. For example a fire
in Quebec City in 1630 left 200 families without homes. Most likely
firefighters that we don't know about died in that conflagration. in
1910 there were large and intense forest fires throughout North America
including Canada. One such fire in the northwestern region of the
United States, per The Year of the Fires by Stephen J. Pyne, killed 72
wildland firefighters in three days. There were forest fires of similar
size and intensity in New Brunswick, Ontario and other parts of Canada
in that year. Though we have no records of firefighter line of duty
deaths from those fires it is very likely that such deaths occurred.
To account for the firefighter line of duty deaths that we don't
know about this text is included on the wall.

This is the Canadian Firefighters Memorial dedication plaque. It features
the logos of the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Canada, Canadian
Heritage and the National Capital Commission.


This monument is dedicated to all Canadian firefighters
who serve their communities,
and honours by name those who have died
in the line of duty.

This memorial was made possible with the support of
the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation
and the Government of Canada.

Unveiled on September 9, 2012
by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
Governor General of Canada

Artist: Douglas Coupland
Landscape Architect: PLANT Architect Inc.



Ce monument est dédié à tous les pompiers canadiens
au service de leur collectivité et il honore le nom
et la mémoire de tous ceux et celles quit sont morts
dans l'exercice de leurs fonctions.

Ce monument commémoratif a été érigé grâce au soutien
de la Fondation canadienne des pompiers morts en
service et du gouvernement du Canada.

Inauguré le 9 septembre 2012
par Son Excellence le très honorable David Johnston,
gouvernor général du Canada

Artiste: Douglas Coupland
Architecte paysagiste: PLANT Architect Inc.

This sign contains a quick response (QR) code that links
to Canadian Heritage's web page for the memorial.

These remaining photographs show the landscaping on the northern slope on the
other side of the wall. The stone covered areas are reminiscent of the Canadian
shield. The trees are red oaks. The plants chosen to landscape the site have
to be suffciently hardy to thrive in Ottawa's climate zone.

Although the presence of a fire hydrant on the memorial site
is completely coincidental it is appropriate to be there.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Canadian Firefighters Memorial Ceremony September 13, 2015

The 2015 Canadian Firefighters Memorial Ceremony took place on Sunday, September 13, 2015 at the Canadian Firefighters Memorial. Saskatchewan Fire Services served as honourary host of the ceremony. For the first time in the ceremony's history it rained.

As I arrived at the Canadian Firefighters Memorial site for the ceremony it
rained, not the deluge I had driven through on the way, but I could see
getting drenched. Fortunately the rain stopped when the ceremony began.

At this stage those involved with making the
ceremony happen worked on preparing the site.

The ceremony procession had started. The helmet party stands staged and
ready. I could hear approaching bagpipes playing in the distance.

The procession approaches. Photographers take up positions to record the
event. The low light level reduces depth of field. I discovered this when
I reviewed these pictures. This day taught me something about photography.

Occasionally I luck out and get a good photograph. I couldn't have
planned a better picture of the bass drums lined up this way.

The ceremony begins with O Canada.

The two concrete structures close to the ground in the lower
right were to be footings for the stage for the ceremonies
on the memorial site. The best laid plans . . .

The access panel at the back of the structure for the site's lone pine has been
opened to power the sound system for the ceremony with its 20 amp outlets.

Canadian Armed Forces kindly provide sound equipment and technicians. The
colour of their berets show these men are with the air force. Firefighting
is an air force trade. All firefighters in the Canadian forces are with
the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation board member, Wayne Jasper stands
holding a commemorative medallion. Each of the families of fire fighters
who died in line of duty in 2014 received one at this ceremony.

Each of the nine helmets on the altar represent a firefighter who died in
line of duty in 2014. The altar sentries are a volunteer firefighter and
a wildland firefighter. She holds an axe and he holds a pulaski, a comb-
ination axe and mattock used in wildland firefighting.

This charter bus brought the families to the ceremony and will return them.

The massed pipe band played an inspired rendition of Amazing Grace.

The ceremony concludes with a march past.

After the ceremony, participants gather to chat and take pictures.