Firefighters and fire service personnel exist in almost every community in Canada. At present, the total number of people who are considered firefighters, including every type known, is approaching 200,000. Firefighters have been active since before Canada's Confederation in 1867. The men and women associated with Canada's fire service organizations have contributed, very significantly, to the health, safety and prosperity of our nation. In many areas, they have been a major part of the adhesive holding communities together.
Firefighting is a dangerous job and although many provinces and municipal groups have paid homage to the firefighters who have died in the line of duty, there has never been a national firefighters memorial. The Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation was incorporated to meet the need for a truly national, Canadian Firefighters Memorial and annual firefighter memorial ceremony.
Beginning in 1997, a group of committed individuals from the Ottawa-Gatineau region decided to make the Foundation and Memorial a reality. Working with the Council of Canadian Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners, the National Capital Commission, the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (U.S.) and firefighters from every part of Canada, goals were set, activities begun and the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation (C.F.F.F.) was officially born in May 2003.
This registered, non-profit, charitable organization is made up of members of the Canadian Fire Service and other interested citizens dedicated to honouring Canada’s fallen firefighters. The Foundation relies on fundraising to operate. The directors of the Foundation, who receive no salary and volunteer their time, come from across Canada representing every type of fire service in the country. The Foundation is all-inclusive. Thus volunteer, paid, industrial, military, urban, rural, wildland, Aboriginal, airport and marine firefighters are all included.