Over 80 local firefighters recognized by County of Prince Edward, province and federal government

(Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)
SARAH WILLIAMS

STAFF WRITER

Recently, over 80 current and retired members of the Prince Edward County Fire and Rescue received federal, provincial, and municipal awards in recognition of their various years of service.

“On behalf of Prince Edward County Council and the municipality, I want to congratulate all of the firefighters who have reached these impressive milestones,” said Mayor Steve Ferguson. “Firefighters are truly at the heart of our safe, strong, and vibrant rural community. We are extremely grateful for all that they do giving back to our community every day.”

PEC Fire and Rescue responded to this early morning fire in 2019 near Consecon. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

The Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal is awarded by the Governor General of Canada and honours Canadian fire service members who have completed 20 years of service, 10 years of which have been served in the performance of duties involving potential risks. A bar may be awarded for each additional 10-year period of service.

The Government of Ontario awards the Fire Services Long Service Medal to recognize firefighters’ dedication and hard work. The long service medal and subsequent service bars are awarded to those who have achieved a minimum of 25 years in suppression, training, public education, inspections, and communications.

The spouse of the 25-year service recipient receives a companion brooch. Locally, PEC Fire and Rescue awards service pins to firefighters who have achieved 10 years, 20 years, and every additional five years of service.

“The formal awards ceremony is an opportunity to recognize staff that have achieved significant milestones in the fire service. These honours demonstrate our members’ commitment to serving and protecting the citizens and visitors to our community,” said Fire Chief Chad Brown. “This year was special as we have four members with 50 years of service.  I am truly honoured to have our members formally recognized for their hard work and dedication.”

PEC Fire and Rescue provides several layers of fire protection, from fire safety education to fire protection.

According to the PEC Fire and Rescue website, their mission is to provide fire safety education, Ontario Fire Code compliance, and fire protection services that ensures the lives and property in Prince Edward County are protected from the adverse effects of fires, sudden medical emergencies or exposure to dangerous conditions created by natural or human-caused emergencies. Prince Edward County Fire and Rescue provides services in the following areas:

•Structural firefighting, including rescue and fire attack

•Emergency responses to properties accessed via private roads, private lanes or driveways

•Vehicle firefighting

•Grass and brush firefighting

•Marine firefighting (shore-based only)

•Medical First Response •Awareness level hazardous materials

•Vehicle accidents

•Vehicle extrication

•Transportation accidents involving vehicles, aircraft and watercraft

•Water and Ice rescue

•Public assistance

•Other agencies assistance

•Fire prevention and education activities

•Review and approval of propane facility risk and safety management plans

Despite having an exemplary local fire and rescue team, Brown reminds the public the first line of defense with regards to fire is personal preparedness.

“PEC Fire and Rescue provides efficient and effective fire protection services. Its firefighters are highly trained in many disciplines and are constantly maintaining and improving their skills to better serve the County,” said Brown. “Fire safety starts with you. Ensure there are working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home and practice a home escape plan.

Doing your part to stay fire-safe supports PEC Fire and Rescue in achieving better outcomes during emergencies.”

See below for a complete list of recipients.

Award Recipients-

10 Year Municipal Service Pins Curtis Baitley, Brendon Conley, Dylan Cox, Steve Dawson, Morley Dayton, Steve Everall, Ken Gibbons, Jody Hudson, Alex Ingram, Phil Kinnear, Nathan Koutroulides, Deputy Fire Chief Tim Kraemer, Wes Manlow, Bryan Markland, Chris Morris, Tim Noxon, Jeremy Prinzen, Terry Rashotte, Mike Renaud, Phil Roblin, Dan Sprigings, Ryan Walmsley, Jason Young

20 Year Provincial Administrative Award, 20 Year Municipal Service Pin Bernie Dunphy

20 Year Federal Fire Services Medals Darren Bedford, Fire Chief Chad Brown, Greg Bulgajewski, John Carter, Dan Claxton, Darren Flower, Glenn Guernsey, David Jones, Al Koopmans, Todd Lamorre, Rick Leavitt, Dale Milligan, Lucien Paradis, David Rallison, Jeff Snider, John Thissen

25 Year Provincial Long Service Medals and Companion Brooches Gord Bell, Fire Chief Chad Brown and Lynda Brown, Richard Copple and Karen Hatchard, Robert Downey and Linda Downey, Jerry Ferguson and Robin Ferguson, Greg Gorsline and Shannon Coull, Andrew Prinzen and Grace Prinzen, Robert Rorabeck and Donna Faye Salt, Brian Yott and Jacqueline Yott, Jim Young

30 Year Federal Bars, 30 Year Provincial Bars Michael Branscombe, Craig Burris, Steve Coates, Paul Creasy, Kevin Harrington, Don Leavitt, Retired Fire Chief Scott Manlow, Paul Vidito, David Wetherall, Shawn Whalen

35 Year Provincial Bars Carman Courneyea, Richard Doyle, Terry Kewley, Robert Manlow, Maurice Miller, Greg Moore, Retired Fire Chief Robert Rutter, Peter Williams, Dale Wood, Randy York

40 Year Federal Bars, 40 Year Provincial Bars Dan Bakker (Sandy), Elmer Bentley, Peter Cole, David Fox, George Storms, Stephen Vickers, Brent Walker

50 Year Federal Bars, 50 Year Provincial Bars William Bedford, Leonard Bedford, Roger Flower, Robert Tolley