They came from as far as Salmon Arm and Peachland. From the department at the Kelowna Airport to the small outlet in Wilson’s Landing, across Okanagan Lake.
They gathered beneath glorious sunny skies and a chilly +2C atop a hill on Tyndall Road in Lake Country Sunday morning, Nov. 8, to pay tribute to a fallen colleague.
Fire, RCMP, Search and Rescue, and B.C. Ambulance personnel convened a 35-vehicle procession of their respective emergency vehicles with lights flashing to salute Lake Country firefighter Karl Featherstone, who died at 47 of a cardiac event at his home Oct. 11.
The procession made its way slowly southbound on Tyndall to Okanagan Centre Road West, then to Lakestone Waterside and looped around Maddock Avenue, escorting Featherstone’s family to a private service.
Featherstone received the Station 71 Firefighter of the Year award in 2018, best attendance to emergency call out and practices in 2014 and a 10-year service pin in 2019.
“Karl Featherstone was a well-respected Lake Country citizen, entrepreneur and served the community he lived in as a paid-on-call firefighter for 11 years,” the District of Lake Country said. “His unexpected passing on Oct. 11 has impacted many in the community.”
Featherstone is survived by his wife, Bryanna, and two young children.
Colleague Robert Lussier has set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to assist the family at https://gf.me/u/y62k6d.
“Bryanna, James and Natalie would really appreciate and benefit from any donations you can contribute during this difficult time as all funds raised will contribute to memorial expenses and setting up educational funds for both James and Natalie,” Lussier said.
Longtime Featherstone friend Dwayne Phaure also established a GoFundMe campaign as a kids’ college fund fundraiser at https://ca.gf.me/v/c/djnw/karl-featherstone-kids-college-fund.