Fallen Columbia Firefighter Lt. Bruce Britt Receives Award

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JEFFERSON CITY - The American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter honored former Columbia firefighter, Lt. Bruce Britt with the Lifesaver award Tuesday night.

The Lifesaver award is a way to honor and thank people who go out of their way to make a difference in the community. Britt is one of nine people to receive the award. 

Britt died during rescue efforts in February when a walkway collapsed at the University Village Apartments. Leigh, Britt's wife received the award on his behalf. Many members of Britt's fire fighting team attended the ceremony to honor him and support Leigh and their daughter.

Columbia Fire Department Fire Chief Chuck Witt said the award recognizes Britt's career as a firefighter.

"Bruce exemplified service upon oneself for the greater of our community and, unfortunately, sometimes at the end of a shift they don't get to go home. This recognizes that Bruce didn't get to go home that February day," Witt said.

Leigh Britt also spoke at the event and thanked everyone for honoring her husband and his efforts. She especially thanked the fire department for coming to the ceremony.

"They were just incredible during this crisis and I appreciate all their support. Bruce loved his job. He had been with the fire department nearly 24 years. He loved what he did and I am just hopeful that his sacrifice protected the lives of innocent children and families," Leigh said.

Leigh said she hopes to look back on his death to learn something.

"Another thing is for us to enjoy everyday. This has been an unfortunate lesson that life can change and you never know what is going to happen next," Leigh said.

People at the event also participated in a silent auction and dinner to support the Red Cross.