As new firefighters join our ranks the spectrum of ways to become further involved can sometimes be overwhelming. Many options are available and new staff are left with questions about where to devote their energies and passion. One such opportunity is steeped in respect and in tradition; it is called the Honour-Guard and Colour Party.
Although the Honour-Guard is mainly known for its participation in Line of Duty funerals and Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Services, there is also a large variety of other events and ceremonies where their presence is appreciated. Traditions and protocols live on because men and women don uniforms to highlight a significant event in their community. Other events and ceremonies that “Respect the tradition” include;
Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) has been involved in many different events and is regarded as a reputable service because we protect our Nation’s Capital. In turn, the Honour Guard is often requested to attend activities in Ottawa and elsewhere in the country. We are actively recruiting new members to help our Honour Guard maintain tradition and continue to be visible in our communities.
What does being of the Colour Guard entail?
According to Brampton Honour Guard Commander Jordan Paris
“The type of person who will best represent what the honour-guard division is all about is one who carries himself or herself respectfully and demonstrates an appreciation for appearance, etiquette, values and professionalism. Members of the honour guard should be cognizant of the fact that they represent not only their departments, but also their chiefs, their cities and their country while on duty in their uniforms.
What are the expectations and commitments related to the OFS Colour Guard?
Firstly, “The responsibility of an honour guard to its department is to continue to practise and maintain fire-service traditions and to represent the department with honour, integrity, pride and professionalism at all events and opportunities.” (Jordan Paris)
More specifically, if enlisted for the OFS Honour Guard one should expect to participate in practice sessions and volunteer 3-5 hours of their time 1/month. Be advised, certain months are busier than others - especially when yearly memorials and events are repeated annually.
Please ensure that your schedule allows for some flexibility and can accommodate the additional of another responsibility.
We hope you’ll consider becoming a part of this unit and help tradition live on.
Should anyone be interested in speaking to someone about the Honour Guard, please contact Captain John Sobey at John.Sobey@ottawa.ca or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Honour and Colour Guard