On January 24th, 2018, our friend and fellow firefighter Jay Dearman died. Jay was struck by a vehicle while out for a run along Berry Point Road.
Jay joined the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department in June of 2012. You may have seen him fighting a fire, responding to a motor vehicle incident, or attending a medical call as a first responder.
You may have known him for his exceptional cabinet-making skills, or as an avid fisherman, or for the decade he spent coaching junior softball on the Lower Mainland. He loved people and people loved him.
We will remember Jay for the cheerful twinkle in his eye and his wide-ranging sense of humour. He was considerate, thoughtful, and kind.
Our whole department misses Jay greatly, and we are devastated by this loss. Our thoughts are with his family.
There will be a service for Jay at the Albert Reed Memorial Firehall (730 Church Street) at 2 pm on Saturday, February 10th, 2018.
I was in Ottawa over the holidays and made the point of stopping in to see the Canadian Fallen Firefighter’s memorial. In 2006 we lost one our Gabriola firefighters, Tom Upton, during a training exercise in Comox when he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest. The Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation was formed to honour and remember our fallen firefighters and support their families. The foundation collected bronze hose fittings from fire departments across Canada to be melted down and used to create the statue at the memorial. The Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department donated to this.
It was a sobering in to see all of the names on this memorial of other firefighters who have given their lives to firefighting. Another thought I had was each of these people left behind family members. Tom left behind a son and wife. These firefighters sacrifice work and family to dedicate themselves to firefighting.
(Click on any image to see a larger version of it.)