Not all firefighters die in burning buildings, as proven by the stories coming from Friday’s Ottawa Fire Services memorial event.

A parade wound its way down Elgin Street to the firefighter’s memorial in front of Ottawa City Hall, meant to honour those who died in and out of service.

“We are here in reverence to support and comfort our families in their loss, and to offer the continuing love and support of the Ottawa Fire Services," said fire chief John deHooge.

The eleventh annual service honoured three men including Gordon Kemp, who died from leukemia he got from professional exposure to toxic materials.

“He had a desk job at the end,” his son Steve said.

“You kind of think you're not risking your life everyday, but it was the choice that he made ages ago that really ended catching up to him and taking his life at the end."

Geraldine McEwan said her late husband Maynard died suddenly while looking over new firefighting equipment.

“It's certainly nice to have that recognition because he enjoyed his work and he would be honoured," she said.

The many plaques at the memorial hold names from as far back as the 1800s.

“It's risky work and I don't think people fully understand what really goes into being a firefighter," Kemp said.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Norman Fetterley