Enderby firefighters lower the casket of Dan Botkin from a fire truck prior to his funeral at the Enderby Arena Thursday. Botkin died in an explosion Dec. 29.

Enderby firefighters lower the casket of Dan Botkin from a fire truck prior to his funeral at the Enderby Arena Thursday. Botkin died in an explosion Dec. 29.

Enderby says goodbye to firefighter

Residents and emergency personnel pay final respects to Dan Botkin



Longtime friends Missy Schalin and Sean Annan believe Enderby Fire Department Captain Dan Botkin didn’t die a hero.

He was born one.

The pair eulogized Botkin, 25, killed Dec. 29 on-duty in a fire and explosion at Sperlich Log Constructon, during Botkin’s public funeral Thursday at the Enderby Arena, which included more than 1,000 firefighters and emergency services personnel from across Canada.

“He was Dan-tastic, as he would say, and for those of us who were blessed to know him couldn’t agree more,” said Schalin. “All of his friends and family vote him as an amazing person, husband, son, grandson, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend, touching each of us in such a unique way, teaching us it’s not the years in your life but the life in your years.”

The uniformed firefighters and emergency personnel, which included RCMP in red serge, Search and Rescue, paramedics and volunteers, formed an honour guard at the Enderby Chamber of Commerce, and marched through the streets of Enderby under a mix of blue and grey skies, with a hint of sunshine, to the arena. The guard also included more than 30 fire trucks from various departments on hand for the funeral.

Botkin’s Canadian flag-draped coffin was brought to the arena aboard an Enderby Fire Department truck, with eight of his firefighting brethren carrying the coffin into the arena past Botkin’s beloved 1968 white Plymouth Valiant car, parked at the arena entrance.

More of his comrades formed the honour guard into the arena as everyone was piped in.

Enderby Fire Chief Kevin Alstad held Botkin’s No. 26 helmet on the front during the honour guard, then escorted Botkin’s wife Miranda – the newlyweds married Oct. 29 – to her seat at the front of the stage which was adorned with her husband’s fire jacket and pictures of Botkin.

Seven of Botkin’s friends and family, dressed in matching black suits and shirts with pink ties – Botkin loved pink, including wanting to paint his Valiant that colour – served as pallbearers and brought the coffin onto the stage.

“I have never heard Dan say one bad word about anybody,” said Alstad. “Captain Dan always encouraged other members to get involved with the fire hall. He was a solid, reliable person one could trust with his own life. He will be dearly missed by members of this department, his family and his friends and the whole emergency service.”

While Alstad, Schalin and Annan eulogized their friend and colleague, a number of dignitaries were present to express their condolences.

Among them were Enderby Mayor Howie Cyr, B.C. Fire Commissioner Rebecca Denlinger, Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster and, representing the Queen, B.C. Lt.-Gov. The Honourable Steven Point, a man used to giving speeches.

“On this day, words fail me,” said Point. “How do you express the uprising of emotions? How do you capture in words the feelings that you have? It’s not possible I think. I’d like to thank all of you for coming, all of you ladies and gentlemen that came from all over the province to demonstrate your support.

“Our great province would be nothing without the kind of dedication and service that we receive from gentlemen like Dan Botkin, who give up their time and energy in community service without asking for anything, knowing full well the danger and life-threatening situations that may arise.”

There were 1,000 chairs set up on the floor of the Enderby Arena, taken up by family and friends, while the stands were filled to capacity with members of the public, many of whom were in their seats an hour before the start of the 11 a.m. service.

Several hundred citizens also lined the honour guard route and those that couldn’t get into the arena gathered at the facility’s north end outside, braving a whipping wind to listen to the ceremony broadcast on speakers.

Among them was Jim Newman of Grindrod, whose nephew is a firefighter who served with Botkin.

“I’m here to support my nephew and his firefighter brothers and sisters,” said Newman, a former volunteer firefighter in Alberta.

“The honour guard was amazing. It was a beautiful display of professionalism. I was impressed by the number of firefighters that showed up from across the province and beyond. It was a great display of camaraderie by firefighters as a whole. I know the community appreciates the sacrifices these guys make.”

Botkin, who made the ultimate sacrifice serving his community, was given a three-ring bell ceremony as the service ended, a firefighting tradition.

Firefighters then formed another honour guard along Kate Street in front of the arena, two rows deep on both sides of the road that stretched onto Howard Avenue, and saluted Botkin as he was driven by in a hearse.

Botkin was laid to rest in the Enderby Cemetery.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Halle Krawczyk of Salmon Arm celebrated her 12th birthday in November 2020. Halle suffers from a rare form of cancer that she requires surgeries for but her family is unable to get funding to go to the leading surgeon in the United States. (Contributed)
Challenge issued to create a good Christmas by saving life of Salmon Arm girl

Businsessman wants to make sure adequate funds are raised for surgery for rare cancer

Swimming laps remains a permitted activity, at least for now, at the SASCU Rec Centre pool following new provincial orders on Dec. 3. (File photo)
A couple of activities still permitted in Salmon Arm recreation facilities

Following provincial orders regarding pandemic protocols, adult group sports have been cancelled

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

Salmon Arm’s Rotary clubs and two churches are teaming up to provide up to 600 meals for pick up on Christmas Day 2020 for people in need. (Shutterbug75/Pixabay)
Salmon Arm Rotarians, churches to produce 600 Christmas meals for those in need

A ticket will provide a free turkey dinner to pick up on Friday, Dec. 25

Shuswap Middle School Students kept over 1500 lbs of batteries out of the landfill with a recycling drive. (CSRD Photo)
Shuswap student battery drive keeps 1,500 lbs out of the landfill

Students learned a lot about the benefits of recycling

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

It was an opening day filled with blue skies, sun and COVID-19 protocols at Vernon’s SilverStar Mountain Resort Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Passholders enjoy sunny opening day at Silver Star Mountain

Resort staff say parking reservations, COVID-19 protocols went smoothly Friday, Dec. 4

Summerland’s cenotaph was originally installed in front of the high school. The old school was located close to the corner of Rosedale Avenue and Jubilee Road. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Cenotaph and parks in Summerland honour fallen soldiers

Community memorials pay tribute to those who were killed in military service

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Information about the number of COVID-19 cases in Abbotsford and other municipalities poses a danger to the public, the Provincial Health Services Authority says. (Photo: Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
More city-level COVID-19 data would jeopardize public health, B.C. provincial health agency says

Agency refuses to release weekly COVID-19 case counts, citing privacy and public health concerns

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

Most Read