Firefighter who died of cancer receives departmental funeral

A Vancouver firefighter who was with the department since 1995 has been given a departmental funeral downtown.

Captain Bob Rosenlund, who turned 53 last month, died from cancer on April 7.

It's considered a death in the line of duty because his diagnosis is being directly linked to his work.

"The cancer that Bobby contracted is a presumptive cancer; it's a cancer that both science and the government recognize as a cancer to our profession," said Robert Weeks, president of the Vancouver Firefighters Association.

He added that, unfortunately, this type of illness is not uncommon.

"Too many of us as firefighters are dying from these types of cancers, and the risks of these cancers is only getting worse."

Hundreds of firefighters gathered outside Firehall 7 before marching in a procession to First Baptist Church for the funeral service Thursday morning.

"He was a great man. A quiet leader, strong character, really well respected by his peers," Weeks said. "This is an honour to him - the work he's done for the community - and an honour to his family."

Captain Rosenlund is survived by his wife and three sons.