They put their lives on the line for us every day.

But the risks firefighters face go beyond burning buildings.

Elaine Lytle's husband Herb was a firefighter for 37 years.

He had close calls battling fires throughout his career.

But it was cancer that ended his life.

"He died on June 28th. He had three recognized cancers from the fire department, that's why he was honoured today as a line of duty death," said Elaine Lytle.

Herb Lytle, along with Ken Andrews died of work-related cancers. They were honoured today at the Ottawa Firefighters Memorial Service.

The last Ottawa firefighter who died while battling a blaze was in 1977.

The major concerns for the service now are post-traumatic stress disorder and cancer.

"Our training and our equipment has put us in a much safer place in terms of not necessarily dying in the fire, but the toxins related to the fire. The tragic events that we deal with, there are much longer effects," said Ottawa Fire Chief John deHooge.

The 2013 Canadian Fallen Firefighters Memorial takes place this Sunday September 8th at 10:30am at the Canadian Firefighters Memorial at LeBreton Flats.