Fallen firefighters benefit from man’s passion

Northern Sunrise County deputy fire chief Julien Bergeron, left, completed his 2022 Northern Trek for the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation at the British Columbia border west of Demmitt on Highway 43. He finished his 2022 trek with Big Lakes County deputy fire chief Luci Martinson, right.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A firefighter from the Peace River area will hit the highway Aug. 19-23 to raise funds for the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Northern Sunrise County deputy fire chief Julien Bergeron returns to the road for the sixth annual Northern Trek.

Bergeron plans to run from Spirit River to Falher and to Peace River.

“This is a benchmark year for the Northern Trek,” says Bergeron, who initiated the run.

“Since the fist Trek, cumulative raised funds for the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation have exceeded $100,000.”

Along the route, he will be joined by Smoky River regional fire chief Marcel Maure. Big Lakes County deputy fire chief Luci Martinson plans to run with Bergeron for the third successive year.

Other fire departments have reached out with members interested in joining the run for some portions, he notes.

“Running eastward with prominent winds at my back, along with the majority of the route being flat with slight downhills, will be a pleasant change,” Bergeron says.

Over the 198-km route, he plans to run about 35 km a day.

Bergeron has appreciated the strong support since he started.

“Support for the project never stops growing because the fire service is a tight-knit community,” Bergeron noted in a story in the South Peace News story Aug. 24, 2022.

“We all know that if we, or other members of our service, regardless of location, pass away due to a line-of-duty death, that our families are supported by whatever means the foundation is capable of providing.”

One key role of the CFFF is to help support the families, he says.

“Unfortunately, despite our efforts to keep everyone safe and to ensure our firefighters return home after serving their communities during a call, not all firefighters survive and end up making the ultimate sacrifice – leaving their families and loved ones behind,” Bergeron says.

“This amazing milestone would not be possible without support through sponsorships, donations, logistical supports and endless encouragement,” Bergeron says.

Northern Trek has been an instant hit with fire departments across Alberta, he says.

Companies, firefighter associations and municipalities have sponsored portions of the run with all funds going to the foundation.

Bergeron founded the Northern Trek for the CFFF to promote healthy living through physical activity and to raise funds for the CFFF, which honours and remembers firefighters who died from injuries and health while on duty and supports their families.

For more information, visit the Northern Trek for CFFF Facebook page or donate on the following link at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/canadian-fallen-firefighters-foundation/p2p/Northern_Trek_2022/

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