Left to right: Firefighter Brent Ziefflie

Left to right: Firefighter Brent Ziefflie

Sacrifice immortalized in bronze

A Mission artist used a local firefighter as his model for new bronze statue

The recently unveiled fallen firefighters monument established in Victoria has strong ties to Mission.

Local artist Dean Lauze crafted the seven-foot-tall bronze statue that will permanently stand on the rear legislature grounds, and Mission firefighter Dave Taylor served as his model.

“It was a tremendous honour to be asked to create this monument that commemorates B.C.’s fallen firefighters,” said Lauze. “Over many years, we have done smaller projects for various fire halls, and have many friends who are firefighters, but never have we felt the connection we felt while sculpting this statue. It was a great pleasure to work with the B.C. Professional FireFighters Association and to hear their stories. They protect us all and watch out for each other like one big family.”

“It was an absolute honour to participate in the development of the fallen firefighters [monument],” said Taylor. “It represents our brothers and sisters that have given the upmost sacrifice. I know it is valued by all provincial firefighters that we now have a monument that reflects their dedication and sacrifice.”

Members of Mission Fire/Rescue Service and Lauze were in Victoria Feb. 13 for the ceremony, which saw more than 500 firefighters from across the province march down Belleville and Government streets for the biennial commemoration of those lost in the line of duty.

A national firefighters memorial was created last year in Ottawa at the site of that city’s great fire of 1900, but B.C. had no formal recognition of the sacrifices made by the province’s firefighters until now.

– with files from Daniel Palmer