200-plus firefighters gather in West Kelowna for colleagues funeral

200-plus firefighters gather in West Kelowna for colleague\s funeral
200-plus firefighters gather in West Kelowna for colleagues funeral
Fire Capt. Troy Russell spent 20 years working as a firefighter in West Kelowna and after a heroic battle with cancer died Sept. 25. He is survived by his wife of 22 years and two sons.

West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund says Russell's family at home was very important, but also his family at the firehall.

“I came to learn that when Troy would work nightshift, he would often eat two dinners, one with his family at home and then another one with the fire department family at work,” said Brolund.

Over 400 emergency responders from across the province took part in the funeral procession, which led to the ceremony at Royal LePage Place.

Video: West Kelowna Fire Rescue say goodbye to their Captain

Russell’s father said his son was the model child from day one. His brother shared that the death of Russell has broken his heart. Both speeches brought the crowded arena to tears.

This is the first line-of-duty death for West Kelowna Fire Rescue, as Russell's cancer was directly related to his work, said Brolund.

“His death was marked as a line-of-duty death, the type of cancer he had has been found it occurs far more often in firefighters than the general population."

A funeral for West Kelowna firefighter Capt. Troy Russell is ongoing at Royal LePage Place Tuesday afternoon.

Capt. Russell, also known as Nipsy, battled occupational brain cancer for a year. He passed away on Sept. 25.

Firefighters from across British Columbia and Alberta have gathered in West Kelowna to attend the funeral of Captain Troy Russell.

A member of West Kelowna Fire Rescue, Russell died on Tuesday, September 25th of occupational brain cancer. West Kelowna Fire Rescue listed his death as a line of duty death, saying it was attributed to his work.

Sad day in West Kelowna as community bids final farewell to this man…Capt. Troy Russell. The 20-yr veteran of the local fire department died of cancer which is being linked to his profession. @GlobalOkanagan pic.twitter.com/bKds9jfb7X

Capt. Troy Russells casket is brought in to Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna where hundreds of people are attending his funeral. The longtime firefighter died of cancer thats being linked to his firefighting career. @GlobalOkanagan pic.twitter.com/6jWyFKhnbX

Hundreds line the streets to pay their respects to West Kelowna firefighter Capt. Troy Russell. This is video showing the 250-plus member procession with the casket inside the departments newest fire truck. @GlobalOkanagan pic.twitter.com/Q9XCSjb5Ze

Today were honouring Captain Russell with a line of duty death funeral, WKFR fire chief Jason Brolund told Global News prior to the funeral at Royal LePage Place. Our fire department has worked with fire departments from across the province to plan this service to honour Troy, and were so grateful for everyone whos joined us here today.

About 250 emergency responders from all over BC & Alberta have gathered to bid a final farewell to West Kelowna Fire Rescue Capt. Troy Russell who died last month from whats considered a career-related cancer. This is the departments first line-of-duty death. @GlobalOkanagan pic.twitter.com/U7bRWK7ECJ

West Kelownas newest fire truck arrives with Capt. Troy Russells casket inside. It will be part of the large procession at his funeral. The 53-yr olds death is being linked to his firefighting career. @GlobalOkanagan pic.twitter.com/sXYEmGXqRj

Asked why Russells funeral was considered a line of duty death, Brolund said the type of cancer that Troy had occurs far more often in firefighters than it does in the general population. And as a result of that, the provincial government has passed legislation that says when a firefighter gets this type of cancer, its automatically assumed its because of their work as a firefighter.

WATCH BELOW:West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund talks about former colleague Captain Troy Russell, who died in September from occupational brain cancer.

Prior to his passing last month, Russell received a medal for 20 years of service in the fire department.

Various websites describe a line of duty death (LODD) as a work-related fatality, such as heart attack, trauma, motor-vehicle collisions or exposure to chemicals.