Fallen Niagara Falls firefighters honoured during ceremony
Niagara Falls Review

Niagara Falls Fire Department held a line of duty death memorial ceremony Sunday afternoon to honour 12 fallen members, including the newest name added to the granite wall outside Fire Station 1, Fred Hall.

“The names on the list are firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice, keeping the promise to the citizens of Niagara Falls to respond to emergencies, and to dedicate their lives to their community and colleagues in the fire service,” said Capt. Tim Lea, who was master of ceremonies for the event outside the Morrison Street station.

Chief Jo Zambito said firefighters leave their homes and their families every day “so they might save the lives of people that they’ve never met.”

Hall, who was born and raised in Niagara Falls, started his career with the fire department in January 1985 and was promoted to captain in May 2010. Hall was promoted to platoon chief in January 2015, and retired Sept. 30 that year.

He died in July 2020 of a job-related cancer. He was 62.

Sunday’s ceremony included marches of colours with the fire department as the honour guard, the singing of the national anthem by Jaidyn Atkinson, a tolling of the bell, a performance of “Amazing Grace” by piper Brittany Johnson and a moment of silence.

Greetings were given by Zambito and Justin Canestraro, president of Niagara Falls Professional Firefighters Association, and words from fire department chaplain Rev. Isaac Flagg.

Hall’s daughters, Jessica and Lauren Hall, laid a rose at the memorial site.

Canestraro said firefighters talk about Hall “so much and tell his story so much that I have no doubt some of our newest members feel like they know him.”

“We miss his smile, his dedication, his leadership and his presence around the fire hall. The pain of his passing is still fresh to all of us,” he said.

“His memory in our department and our association will live on forever, not just by the name on the wall, but by what he has done for us.”

Canestraro said there’s a common theme at all memorial sites across Canada and the United States, “and it’s empty space.”

“Empty space on the granite walls for more names to be added every year, and the grim thought that one day we may run out of space,” he said.

Canestraro said the names etched on the walls are not “simply letters, names, numbers and dates.”

“Attached to each name is family — brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, children, grandchildren, wives and other loved ones — left behind. Their sacrifices will help change governing rules and legislation to continue to make our job safer.”

Along with Hall, the other fallen members honoured were John Shapton, Harvey Lewis, Glen Bassett, Wayne Bench, Harry Sorley, Charlie Stroud, Tim Hoday, Dave Weaver, Ted Shuttler, Ken Boutilier and Garnett Cannon.


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