Surrey fire captain’s name to be added to Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado on Saturday

Randy Piticco died of lung cancer last December and was remembered at large funeral in Surrey.

Surrey fire captain Randy Piticco.

SURREY — Randy Piticco’s name will be added to the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Saturday morning (Sept. 17).

The Surrey fire captain is among 123 firefighters being honoured during an annual memorial event hosted by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).

Piticco died of lung cancer last December, and a large funeral was held for him at Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Centre a month later.

Mike McNamara, president of Surrey Fire Fighters Association, Local 1271, will attend the memorial in Colorado Springs, along with some fellow Surrey firefighters and members of Piticco’s family, including his wife Marilyn.

“Anyone who dies in the line of duty gets their name put on this memorial,” McNamara told the Now.

“There are 123 firefighters who passed away in 2015, while in the line of duty, and they’ll all be recognized on the wall on Saturday, and it includes occupational cancers and heart disease… That number, 123, is about average for a year.”

(PICTURED: Funeral service for Capt. Randy Piticco last January at Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Centre. Photo by Richard Lam/PNG)

The centerpiece of the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs is a bronze likeness of a fire fighter descending a ladder while cradling an infant in one arm, according to a post at Iaff.org.

“Towering 20 feet above the park’s surface, ‘Somewhere, Everyday’ epitomizes the courage and bravery displayed daily by professional fire fighters across the continent,” the website explains.

The names of six Local 1271 members are on the memorial wall, and Piticco’s will be the seventh, McNamara said.

Last year, the names of Surrey firefighters Kevin Hegarty and John Watt were added. In total, more than 7,400 firefighters are memorialized on the wall, built in 1986.

“It recognizes the services and sacrifices firefighters do make, and it’s very special for the families and the firefighters, too, our community,” McNamara said.

“If you give your life up for this job, you will be etched in the history books forever, at this memorial in Colorado Springs.”

Saturday’s memorial will be live-streamed on the IAFF website starting at 10 a.m.

Piticco, who lived in Langley and grew up in the Whalley area, retired from the Surrey fire department five years ago. His passing was deemed a “line of duty” death because agencies including WorkSafe B.C. attributed his illness to his 32 years of service as a firefighter.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

 

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