Editor, The News:
I was honoured to have attended the recent funeral of Lieut. Dennis Teboekhorst of the Maple Ridge Fire Department. Lieut. TeBoekhorst unfortunately passed away as a result of cardiac arrest, a presumptive condition as a result of his firefighting career, which warranted a line of duty death funeral.
In my career as a firefighter, and also since I have been retired, I have unfortunately attended too many funerals of my firefighting brothers, (fortunately no sisters yet) some of which were considered line of duty funerals.
I felt it was necessary to comment on Lieutenant TeBoekhorst’s service and give credit where credit is due.
As sad a situation as this was, I must commend Maple Ridge Fire Chief Howard Exner and the men and women of his department, as well as the City of Maple Ridge for what I consider to be one of the most professionally organized remembrances for a fallen brother that I have ever had the privilege to attend. The logistics to set up a remembrance such as this were most likely, monumental.
From all accounts, and these are accounts of those fire personnel that attended with whom I have spoken, it was presented with dignity and class, honouring Dennis.
I never knew Dennis, but by the end of the service I felt as if I did.
My condolences go out to his family. I am sure Dennis would have been extremely proud and honoured to realize what his department has done for him.
As a matter of fact, so am I.
Coquitlam Fire Rescue