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Until the news broke, the volunteer firefighters in Galahad had held out hope the two would safely return, Cannady said.

“We’re all struggling quite a bit right now.”

He said he certain the firefighters will get through their grief as a group, but he expressed sadness for Kozak and Ferrier’s families.

A GoFundMe page was created by Crystal Farlow, a former co-worker of a Ferrier family member, who said in part in a Facebook message that “the family appreciates the kindness and generosity that has been poured out to them.” Money from the GoFundMe will go toward expenses for the celebration of life, and to the families.

Kozak joined the volunteer fire department right after moving to Galahad, and had been “absolutely awesome,” Cannady said. He regularly attended sessions, was always in a positive mood and the fire department relied on his knowledge of fertilizers, he added.

“He was a real asset,” he said.

“I can’t say much other than he was one of the first people there to roll up his sleeves to do something when something needed to be done.”

Ferrier joined after Kozak, while she was going to school to study nursing, Cannady saidd. He described her as “super smart” and able to explain things related to medical first response in a way that was relatable.

“On these small volunteer fire departments, you rely on those people. It’s a huge hit for the department and the community,” he said.

tjames@postmedia.com

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