03/09/2015 05:35 EDT | Updated 05/09/2015 05:59 EDT

Ceremony honours fallen B.C. firefighters, bell tolls at legislature memorial

VICTORIA - Hundreds of firefighters and their families from across B.C. have come together to honour more than a dozen fallen firefighters during an outdoor ceremony that included the tolling of bells for each lost firefighter.

B.C. Professional Fire Fighters Association president Michael Hurley says the ceremony at the provincial legislature gives firefighters and their families the opportunity to express the profound respect they have for loved ones who died as a result of their work.

Justice Minister Suzanne Anton says the list of fallen firefighters tragically continues to grow in B.C.

She says Fraser Valley volunteer firefighter Brian Smyth suffered a heart attack last week and died while fighting a house fire at Cultus Lake, and Surrey firefighter Kevin Hagerty was a recent victim of post traumatic disorder.

Opposition New Democrat house leader John Horgan says the families of the fallen firefighters need to know that the sacrifices of their loved ones will not be forgotten.

There are more than 3,900 professional firefighters in B.C.