Some streets closed as over 1,000 expected at Welland firefighter’s funeral

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Published May 29, 2023 at 10:56 am

Welland Fire Captain Craig Bowman died of cancer on May 21, an occupational illness of the job and will be given a Line of Duty Funeral at the Welland Arena (501 King St.) at 1 pm.

With a huge influx of firefighters coming into the city to honour the late Welland Fire Captain Craig Bowman tomorrow (May 30), there will be some necessary road closures during the motorcade portion of the procession.

Bowman, 47, died of cancer on May 21, an occupational illness of the job and will be given a Line of Duty Funeral at the Welland Arena (501 King St.) at 1 pm.

“This Full Honour Funeral is a very public display; it is as much about Captain Bowman as it is about supporting his family and the firefighters through this challenging time,” said Welland Fire Chief Adam Eckhart.

“From my experiences, togetherness and showing of support helps everyone, and we know our emergency services family and the community will be with us. It is truly an incredible send-off for our friend and colleague.”

Over 1,000 attendees are expected, including firefighters from Buffalo, Toronto, the GTA, and Niagara.

The “final alarm funeral route” will begin at Welland Fire Headquarters at 400 East Main Street and end at the Welland Main Arena at 501 King St.

Thousands are expected to line the streets, which will travel down East Main St. to north on Prince Charles Dr. before heading down First Ave. and Fitch St. and looping back south on Prince Charles Dr. to Ontario St. and north on King St. to the arena.

At the King St. firehall, an honour guard, pallbearers, pipe and drum, and a few selected uniformed members will slow march and pipe Captain Bowman’s pumper and the family’s limo to the arena.

The city said King St.will be lined with uniformed personnel, and there will be a large Canadian flag hanging across King St., between Welland’s two aerial trucks, and the pumper will pass under it as formal recognition of Bowman’s service to his community and country.

The city added access to the hospital is available, and local businesses know about the procession.

All Welland Fire on-duty staff will attend the funeral, and the cities of St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Port Colborne, and Thorold are sending a truck and staff to fill Welland’s firewalls and answer any calls during the service.

The funeral service at the Arena commences at 1 p.m.

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