Back row, The Office Of Fire Commissioner, Ross Bennitt,
Front row from left, MLA Richard Starke, Director of Protective Services Orest Popil, 1001 Vermilion Graduates Clint McCullough and John Nelson.
“You are the ones that run toward danger when everyone else in running away,” said Orest Popil during the Firefighter’s Appreciation Ball on February 10, at the Kitscoty Hall.
Dignitaries gathered to honour firefighters and first responders in the greater County of Vermilion River Region, and Reeve, Daryl Watt shared greetings from the County.
“Our departments have received 700 calls to go out and serve within the last two years,” said Director of Protective Services, Orest Popil.
After the train derailment, Popil noted that Islay (a hamlet with 209 residents), had 75 per cent of fire calls being medical. That means 1/8 people in Islay placed a call to the fire department. Islay residents are half an hour from an ambulance bay, so the medical first response is critical in our departments.
“I want to thank you for being there when people need you,” said Popil.
Service men and women include 158 active firefighters and first responders within the county; including departments in Blackfoot, Clandonald, Dewberry, Islay, Kitscoty, Marwayne, Paradise Valley, and Vermilion, and a partnership with an additional 24 members in the Lloydminster Rescue Squad.
Thanks was given to their families for their forbearance, and to the business community for allowing the volunteers to leave when needed.
Terry Stachniak spoke on how valuable fire training is in this area. The Office Of Fire Commissioner, Ross Bennitt, spoke about the significance of long service medals and mentioned that after working in the field, that people often stay because of the quality of people that they are working with.
Twelve year service medals from Alberta Fire Services were awarded to Brad Parkinson, Dawn Garnier, Kirk Budden, Chris Martin, Dustin Schaumleffel, Martha Spinks, Jeremy Crickard, Mitch Jardine, Kevin Martin, Wayne Roach, and Joe Zizek.
Federal Exemplary Fire Services medals were awarded for 20 years of service to Shamus Martin, Kevin McDonald, Cameron Stevenson, Don Bergquist, Merle Burlet, Gord Hart, Greg Lacusta, Kim Lider, Joe Reid, Duley Roberts, and George Steiner.
Thirty year nominations included Ken Haney, Jim King, Bill Roth, Norm Namur, Ray Burlet, and Ken Lysons.
A 40 year nominations was made for Carry Grant.
The 1001 graduates included Ryan Lonquist, Chason Skoretz, Timothy Van Staden, Taylor Brodbin, Brent Farrell, Jason McPhee, John Snider,Travis Stachniak, Tyrel Toews, Kirk Budden, Spencer Budden, Grant Roberts, Wyatt Roberts, Layne Zack, Jon Fournier, Ron Miskie, Morgan Wood, Jerry Adams, Kyle Bergquist, Klay Brown, Kole Brown, Chad Brundage, Lyndon Davies, Darren James, Clint McCullough, and John Nelson.
A meal was catered by Lasting Impressions, and entertainment was provided by Blackwater Crude. Service Awards were presented by MLA Richard Starke, and congratulations was given by board members.
"For the value of what you provide to communities in rural Alberta, your dedication, expertise, and your skill; I would like to thank you on behalf of the Vermilion-Lloydminster Constituency and on behalf of all of Alberta for your contribution to the province," said MLA Richard Starke.