Coaldale & District Emergency Services 2017 Awards

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The Coaldale and District Emergency Services hosted their annual awards evening on November 25, 2017 with presentations ranging from long service to perfect attendance.

Special recognition was also given to those who fought the recent Kenow Fire in Waterton Lakes National Park.

A number of local businesses were also recognized for their willingness to allow staff members to leave work in order to answer emergency calls in Coaldale and area.

The Alberta provincial 12 year Alberta Emergency Services Medals were presented to Jamie Chartier and Kyle Vreeken.

Recipients of the 22 year Bronze Bar for their service medals included Kenneth Wahl, Brian Winters, Victor Gyorffy, Craig Wilson, Don Holmes, Jeff Fujita, Gary Gettman and Jacen Abrey.

The recipient of the 32 year Silver service bar was Jacen Abrey, the only active member of the department who has served under every fire chief in the history of Coaldale.

Local service awards were also presented during the evening.

Colin Gettman received his five year award.

Jeff Slingerland  and Kevin KcKeown received their 10 year awards.

Peter Velker received his 20 year award.

Those firefighters honoured for perfect attendance on training nights were Craig Wilson, Peter Velker, Brian Winters, Don Holmes, Greg Nishiguchi, Tim Hlady and Scott Elford.

Businesses honoured for supporting the department by allowing members to leave work to answer calls included Herman’s Carpets, Prairie Handcraft Ltd., Kustom Auto Body, Intercontinental Truck Body, Town of Coaldale, Graham’s Garage, Wired, Twisted Steel, DRV Transport and Rentals, Lethbridge Correctional Centre, Government of Alberta- Sheriff’s Branch and Maple Tree.

In his report on the past year, Fire Chief Kevin McKeown noted firefighters in Coaldale have been part of a new training initiatives over the past year. They completed 1,110 hours of training in the past year. A new recruitment program and process was implemented in 2017 and a new Lethbridge County engine was ordered for deliver in 2018. He also touched on the Kenow Fire in Waterton Lakes National Park and noted 13 local firefighters rotated through the park over 13 days. A total of 1,405 hours of work were committed to the park fire over that time period by Coaldale firefighters.

He also praised the support of the spouses, families and friends of the firefighters who also sacrifice so the firefighters can continue to serve, dropping everything on a moment’s notice to respond to a call for help.

The Lethbridge County also made a special presentation during the evening to Coaldale & District Emergency Services recognizing the service they provide to county residents.