Chief Bell an NHL-level honour guard

KANATA – West Carleton’s fire Chief Bill Bell was part of the Ottawa Fire Services Honour Guard holding our and our neighbour’s flags high during the singing of the national anthems at last Tuesday’s (Jan. 14) Ottawa Senators hockey game.

Ottawa Fire Service (OFS) firefighter Peter Roy-Smith, District 6 Chief Bell and firefighter Graham Forrester made up the Colour Party for the singing of the national anthems before the Jan. 14 game between the Senators and the Chicago Blackhawks.

The three are on the ice with the anthem singer during the anthems. Bell has been a member of the OFS Honour Guard for around eight years. It is something firefighters apply to be a part of, and then carry out the duties of the Honour Guard all over the city and beyond.

“I applied, as do all Honour Guards with OFS to volunteer my time for the Honour Guard,” Bell told West Carleton Online today (Jan. 17). “The OFS Honour Guard represents Ottawa Fire Service at a number of events and occasions, such as parades, funerals, city events such as Keys to the City evenings, commemoration events, memorial ceremonies, sporting events and any other occasion where the Ottawa Fire Service has been asked to be represented in a formal capacity.”

Bell says representing the OFS in such an official capacity is an honour.

“All Honour Guards, including myself take pride in our fire service and the tradition of the fire service and being a firefighter with the City of Ottawa,” Bell said. “Whether you are an urban firefighter or a rural firefighter, there is a certain fulfillment that one experiences when representing all members in the fire service, both past and present.”

Ottawa Senator hockey games provides some of the biggest audiences for the members of the OFS Honour Guard.

“As far as standing in front of thousands of people, the first time or two can be a little intimidating, but practice makes perfect,” Bell said.

The Senators would lose the game 3-2 in overtime.