Seventh Annual Firefighter Bike Pilgrimage stops in Kingston on Sept. 7
September 6, 2023
The 7th Annual Firefighter Bike Pilgrimage, a three-day torch of remembrance and unity, will be stopping in Kingston on Thursday, Sept. 7.
This year, 74 firefighters from across Ontario and as far away as Montreal and Newfoundland and Labrador will gear up for this 575km bike ride. Led by the Toronto Professional Firefighter Celtic Society (TPFCS), they will cycle from Hamilton to Ottawa’s National Firefighters Memorial come rain or shine between Sept. 6 and 8.
The group will stop in Kingston on Sept. 7 around 4:30 p.m., where Kingston Fire & Rescue Chief Monique Belair will greet the riders at Station 6, 262 Palace Rd.
“This ride honours our brave brothers and sisters lost in the line of duty, as a way to remember their service and sacrifice,” says Chief Belair. “I look forward to greeting the riders in Kingston and thanking them for their dedication to this important cause.”
Among those being remembered this year are Ottawa firefighter Ryan Hill, who tragically lost his life at 37 due to brain cancer linked to his service, Toronto Fire Captain Norman Sinclair, Toronto District Chief Chris Cochon, and Toronto Fire Caption Brad Andrews, among several others. Their names and the memories of 82 other heroes will be etched onto the Memorial Wall this year, joining the 1,811 names of the brave dating back to the late 1800s.
The journey to Ottawa culminates in a remembrance event at the National Firefighters Memorial on Sept. 10. The annual event draws hundreds of firefighters from across the country, reflecting the strong bond that unites all in Canada’s fire service.
The ride raises funds and awareness for the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation. In a year where Canada has grappled with devastating wildfires, the ride hopes to raise $100,000 and amplify the immense value and sacrifice of firefighters, many of whom are volunteers.
“We greatly appreciate people cheering us along the route,” says David Cossitt, president of TPFCS. “Encouragement truly boosts our spirits. Donations can be made at www.celticfireride.ca, where supporters can pick a rider to contribute towards.”