PEI

Inaugural 5K run will honour P.E.I. firefighter who died of leukemia

A group of runners and walkers will be taking part in the inaugural W.B. MacPhail Hero five-kilometre run on the new Cornwall Bypass this weekend.

Willard MacPhail was one of the founding members of the North River Fire Department in 1965

Willard MacPhail died in 2001 of Leukemia. In honour of his legacy, the North River Fire Department is hosting the event to raise awareness of the prevalence of certain cancers among firefighters and the importance of safety gear on the job. (Submitted by Kevin MacPhail )

A group of runners and walkers will be taking part in the inaugural W.B. MacPhail Hero five-kilometre run on the new Cornwall Bypass this weekend.

Runners and walkers at the event will be the first to pound the pavement of the new bypass ahead of its official opening to motorists in October.

The North River Fire Department is hosting the event honouring Willard MacPhail, who was one of the founding members of the North River Fire Department in 1965.

MacPhail died of Leukemia in 2001. 

MacPhail's passing was declared a presumptive death as a result of firefighting following amendments made to P.E.I.'s Workers Compensation Act.

Raising awareness

The run will also look to raise awareness about the prevalence of certain cancers among firefighters and the importance of wearing safety gear on the job, said Dean Smith, Deputy Chief with the North River Fire Department. 

"Firefighters will join us. Some of the members will be doing the run or the walking part with their ... fire gear on that we wear at calls. We're also welcoming other fire departments to do the same thing." 

In-person registration for the run begins at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. The event kicks off at 9 a.m. 

After covering costs to put on the event, proceeds will go toward a permanent memorial to fallen firefighters at the North River Fire Department. 

More P.E.I. news

With files from Jessica Doria-Brown

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