Fallen BX-Swan Lake firefighter honoured with drive-by memorial

Fallen firefighter honoured

The sudden passing of a longtime member of the BX-Swan Lake Fire Department has left a big hole among those at the firehall.

Firefighter David Hentschel died unexpectedly and suddenly on Jan. 22.

A memorial drive-by was held Tuesday night, with vehicles and members from the Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby, Armstrong-Spallumcheen, and Silver Star departments rolling by the BX firehall on Silver Star Road. BC Ambulance and RCMP vehicles also took part.

The BX members lined up outside the firehall with their equipment's lights flashing as the honour guard passed.

It was an emotional moment for Fire Chief Bill Wacey.

"It leaves a huge hole for us," says Wacey. "He was absolutely a solid individual, quick to offer help and to mentor new members ... It's a huge loss for us, and we all lost a good friend."

Hentschel was 50 years old and had been a member of the department for 16 years.

When not protecting the community, he was a social worker with the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Hentschel was born in Vancouver and moved to Vernon with his parents as a toddler, growing up in BX.

He is survived by his wife Shay and daughter Amelia, parents, sister and extended family.

Hentschel was also a youth soccer coach and will be missed by his friends from The Roster.

"His laugh will echo along the walls of the squash courts and pub for years to come," his obituary states.

A memorial service will be held Feb. 11, 1 p.m. at Emmanuel Baptist Church. The service will also be livestreamed.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rob LeNoury Foundation through The Roster Sports Club.

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