The community of Rosetown, Sask., has been left reeling after a volunteer firefighter died in the line of duty.
Darrell James Morrison, 46, was always said to have a smile on his face and his daughter said she can’t describe the pain she’s in as a result of her father’s death.
On Wednesday, Morrison stopped what he was doing when a call came in regarding a collision between two semi-trucks on Highway 4, approximately 22 kilometres north of Rosetown.
As is the case with many small town volunteer firefighters, crews rushed to the scene and towards possible danger.
A firefighter who was struck by a semi on Highway 4 near Rosetown, Sask., has died on Wednesday.
No one was injured during the two-vehicle collision but while first responders were on-scene, Morrison was struck by a passing semi. Fellow emergency personnel attempted life-saving efforts, however, he was taken to hospital in Rosetown where he died a short time later.
“There’s always that thought when you go to an incident whether it’s a motor vehicle, a medical call or whatever it maybe be, you always want to come home safely. And I know for families, they’re thinking about that as well,” said Saskatoon fire Chief Morgan Hackl, who extended his heartfelt condolences to the town.
Morrison’s daughter, who often served alongside her father, instead got the news that her father wouldn’t be returning home and that he had died.
A photo on Cheyanne Morrison’s Facebook page.
In a heartbreaking post on Facebook, Cheyanne Morrison wrote: “as of today November 21st 2018, I lost not only my dad but my number one fan. Sadly my dad will not be front row to watch his youngest, only daughter walk across the stage this year at my grad but he will be watching it from above beyond proud of how he raised me.”
According to the post, she was not on-scene when her father was struck. The Grade 12 student decided not to brave the fog and icy road conditions in order to respond to the initial call and her father’s last words to her when they spoke on the phone were, “OK, be careful, I’m on the way to the accident.”
Posting on Cheyanne Morrison’s Facebook page.
“Roadways are some of the most hazardous environments that we operate in,” said Jason Everitt, with the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs.
“We do our best to make sure that the scene is made as safe as possible but there’s always a very large element of risk and unfortunate events happen like the one on Wednesday.”
For more than 10 hours, the portion of the highway where the collision occurred was shut down as an RCMP forensic reconstructionist collected evidence at the scene.
RCMP confirmed on Thursday for Global News that the driver of the semi that hit Morrison, pulled to a stop when it happened and that the investigation into the cause is still ongoing.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has now been set up in Morrison’s memory and area fire departments have stepped in with offers so the fire crew can stand down and take some time to grieve.
In tragic times like these, the mayor said the community will come together as it always had and rally around those that need the support the most.
“You’ve just gotta continue to be strong together and a step forward every day,” Rosetown Mayor Adam Krieser said.
The Rosetown Fire Department has brought in resources to help with debriefing and counselling after both the Saskatoon Fire Department and Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs offered to deploy a team to the region.
In the last seven months, first responders and hospital staff have been offered Critical Incident Stress Management in town after a series of unspeakable losses, including the death of a family of five in a motor-vehicle collision in June, as well as the death of Morrison.
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