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Halifax volunteer firefighter honoured in ceremony 20 years after death

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ABOVE: At a memorial ceremony, Ronald MacDonald was remembered as a person who liked to give. Steve Silva has this story.

Dozens of people attended a memorial ceremony in Lake Echo, N.S., on Tuesday honouring a volunteer firefighter who died 20 years ago in a collision.

Ronald MacDonald, 42, was driving to assist at the scene of a separate collision on Nov. 2, 1997. He made a U-turn and collided with an ambulance that was heading to the same scene in Porters Lake.

“For him to die on his way to a call is not surprising,” Keith MacDonald, Ronald’s brother, said.

Ronald, as Keith and others at the event described, was someone committed to helping people in whichever ways possible.

The event was held at 7 p.m. at Fire Station 21.

Station Chief Pierre Cadieux said he never knew Ronald personally but heard that the firefighter “was very dedicated” and would help seniors with cleaning their chimneys.

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On Nov. 5, 2000, members of the station raised money to purchase a monument for Ronald; several wreaths were laid there during the event.

Keith, a retired volunteer firefighter, said his parents died when he was younger, and Ronald “was like a father to me.”

During the event, several speakers said Ronald is the only firefighter in the department who has died in the line of duty since amalgamation.