Firefighter from Cochrane remembered


The man killed in a dirt biking incident over the weekend has been identified by his family as Justin Francis, a Cochranite and firefighter with Rocky View County.

Just after 2 p.m. on Saturday, the Sundre RCMP detachment received a report of an off highway, single vehicle collision in a remote area west of Sundre.

First aiders offered assistance and drove Francis to the Bearberry Community Centre where they were met by EMS.

“STARS attended the scene but sadly, the 30-year-old Cochrane resident was pronounced deceased.”

Francis leaves behind his wife, Rachel, their 11-month-old-daughter,Andie, and three-year-old son, Kai, as well many friends, family members and colleagues.

Brent Hartsook, who was well known to Justin, said he lived an exemplary life.

“You’ve left a legacy behind in your kids.  As hard as it will be at times for them, I know we will see you come through in them everyday.  In their joy.  Their goofiness. The way you’ve taught Kai to be brave. The way they will love Rachel.  You will live on through them.  I have no doubt,”  Hartsook said.
“It hurts to see you go.  Thank you for everything Justin.  You will be missed.”

Mike Halprin, a firefighter in Canmore, expressed his grief on Twitter.

“I remember holding him as a baby. One of the most amazing family’s you’d ever meet. Rest in power, brother. I’m gutted,” Halprin’s comment read.

A member of the Rocky Mountain Freeriders (RMF), a group which Justin both skied and coached for, described Justin as a”skier extraordinaire and undeniable role model” on Facebook.

“He was an absolutely integral part of the RMF family as an athlete and coach and a huge influence on me Justin will be greatly missed and I’m sure his memory will be treasured by many of you as it is by myself and those I’ve talked to since his passing.”

A gofundme page has been set up to support the Francis Family and so far just under 14,000 of the $50,000 goal has been raised.

If you would like to donate, visit

The investigation continues though alcohol was determined to not be a factor in the collision.

Flags were lowered over the weekend at both the Bearspaw fire station, where Francis worked and the Cochrane Protective Services building.



About Author

Amy Tucker

Amy is a news reporter with the Cochrane Eagle covering everything from fire, crime and education to Morley events. Her previous career highlights include producing a mini documentary in India and coproducing a podcast spotlighting the tricky mixture of love and age. Amy has a degree in journalism and has tendencies to wander. When she's not writing the news, she spends her spare time swimming, dreaming about her next adventure and thinking about ways that she can make the planet a little greener.