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Vancouver firefighters attacked online for pro-Pride post

The Vancouver firefighters were inundated with 'hateful and homophobic' messages.
Vancouver Fire Rescue Service Local IAFF 18 represents 880 firefighters. They advocate for union rights and safety and support the 2SLGBTQI+ community.

Vancouver firefighters say they were inundated with hateful messages after they shared an image on social media of one of their fire trucks with a rainbow Pride flag. 

Vancouver Fire Rescue Service Local IAFF 18 represents 880 firefighters in Vancouver, advocating for their rights and safety and sometimes educating the public about fire safety. 

The union said it would drape an Edmonton Oilers flag on one of its trucks if the team beat the Vancouver Canucks in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  

On May 23, the union shared an image of the flag draped over a truck on its Instagram account, writing: "Stay strong and proud, Vancouver. We always make good on our bets. Good luck in the next round Edmonton Oilers. Bring the cup back to Canada."

But the firefighters didn't receive the response they expected. 

Firefighters receive numerous hateful comments

In an update, the union shared a picture of a rainbow axe with the words "serving with pride" written above it. The post reads: "This isn’t the Pride Month kickoff post we envisioned, but it’s the one we need to share."

The union said the previous post was meant to be a "fun and friendly" bet for the playoffs. However, people honed in on the rainbow flag and sent inundated them with "hateful and homophobic comments and messages."

The firefighters characterized the response as "disheartening" and "frustrating" but underscored that this is the "very reason such a truck exists and why celebrating Pride is so essential."

To the 2SLGBTQI+ community, the union wrote: "We see you, we support you, and we stand with you. As firefighters, our duty is to protect and serve everyone in our community, regardless of who they love or how they identify. While this situation is unfortunate, it only strengthens our resolve to support you."