A Canadian flag was hung at the overpass of Highway 6 in Nelson this afternoon as residents gathered to pay their respects as the body of Cst. Wade Tittemore came back to the city.
Assistant Nelson Fire Chief Rick Maida says he is astonished by the number of people who came out to pay their respects considering the short notice.
“I was shocked when we came around the corner,” he says. “I was pleasantly shocked. It is amazing to see the amount of support the community is giving to Nelson police, and the families, during this tragic loss.”
Maida says the loss has impacted the fire department, because they feel as though they lost a member of their family.
“We look at first responders as a group, as a whole, so it is like we lost one of our own,” Maida says. “It has definitely affected our members, not to the [extent] of the police department, but there is a somber mood.”
Maida says the most important thing right now is to assure the police that they are not alone, and the community is behind them.
“Nelson Fire and Rescue is with them 100 per cent,” he says. “Our deepest condolences go out to all that are affected, as well, especially the families of the injured and lost police officers.”
The procession started in Kelowna, meeting with first responders in several communities along the way, before arriving in Nelson.
Tittemore died in an avalanche north of Kaslo on Monday that also seriously injured fellow Cst. Mathieu Nolet.