There will be an unprecedented level of support for an Enderby firefighter’s family Thursday.
People are expected to line the street during a procession to honour Dan Botkin, 25, who died in an explosion Dec. 29, while there will be a capacity crowd at the Enderby Arena for Botkin’s funeral.
“We are planning for 1,200 people at the arena,” said Mayor Howie Cyr.
“From what we are hearing, emergency personnel could be several hundred to more than 1,000.”
At 10:30 a.m., emergency services vehicles and personnel will gather at the Enderby Chamber of Commerce and proceed to the arena for the 11 a.m. funeral.
“There will be hundreds and hundreds of people along there (route) and I expect the schools will have their students out for the procession,” said Cyr.
“I hope the route will be jammed with people. The value of our emergency responders and the sacrifice Dan made is something we can’t understate.”
Some businesses have stated they will close their doors so staff can observe the procession and attend the funeral.
At the arena, seating for the family and emergency personnel will be given priority, but there will be some limited seating for the public in the stands. Those attending the service must be seated by 10:30 a.m.
An audio broadcast of the funeral will be aired outside, near the arena’s western parking lot.
Parking is a concern and people should walk or carpool to the arena.
“Parking in the vicinity of the arena, Kate Street, Kildonan Avenue, and Crescent Drive will be restricted to family and dignitaries,” said Tom DeSorcy, Enderby Fire Department media liaison.
There will be no parking on Belvedere Street, between Cliff and Mill avenues, on Cliff Avenue, from Belvedere Street to the Enderby bridge, and all of Railway Street.
Access to the Enderby bridge will be blocked before and during the emergency services procession.
“After the service, there will be a reception for the general public in the curling rink,” said DeSorcy.
“A reception for emergency services personnel will occur at the fire hall. The general public is asked not to proceed to the fire hall.”
Among the dignitaries attending the funeral will be B.C. Lt.-Gov. Steven Point.
A 24-person committee has been formed by the city to address organizational issues for the funeral.
“We have good contact with the family and the local fire department,” said Cyr.
Besides attending the funeral, residents have another way to support Botkin’s family.
The Dan Botkin memorial trust fund — #322214 — has been set up at the Enderby and District Credit Union.
“It has been arranged that donations can be made at any credit union branch in B.C. and then forwarded to us,” said Ted Morrison, EDCU general manager.