Firefighters honoured for a job well done

Peace River and County of Northern Lights fire departments celebrated firefighters’ achievements on Dec. 6. In the front row, left-right, are Jesse Kasouf, Stephanie Amor, Tim Berger, and Kelly Laramore. In the back row, left-right, are fire chief Tim Harris, Drew Keddie, Capt. Robin Differenz, Cheryl Rogers, Patrick Connellan, and Mark Owens. Missing is Dale Shewchuk.

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

Peace River and County of Northern Lights fire departments held their annual awards night on Dec. 10 to recognize the outstanding efforts of firefighters.
“Our firefighters commit a lot of time and energy to the fire department, and this is in addition to their regular jobs and their family life,” says fire chief Tim Harris.
“It is important to acknowledge this effort and recognize those members who have excelled.”
Harris presented nine awards to the members and Peace River Firefighters Association Patrick Connellan attended to present the President’s Award to Peace River Fire Department’s senior firefighter Drew Keddie.
Dixonville Fire Department’s engineer Cheryl Rogers received the Attendance Award, Weberville Fire Department’s Capt. Robin Differenz was given the Don Konkin Award for Officer-of-the-Year. The Fit-to-Fight Awards were earned by Weberville Fire Department’s Tim Berger and Peace River Fire Department’s Drew Keddie.
“We are very fortunate to have these women and men step up to protect our communities, to answer the call and help someone in need,” says Harris.
“In fact, all municipalities are fortunate for their brave firefighters who go into the emergency when others are leaving,” he adds.
Also being recognized from Peace River were Junior Firefighter-of- the-Year Stephanie Amor, Rookie-of-the-Year Mark Owens, Most Improved Firefighter engineer Dale Shewchuk, Martin Cooper Award of Merit recipient firefighter Kelly Laramore, Lee Vickery Award for Firefighter- of-the-Year Jesse Kasouf, and Fire Chief’s Award recipient Lt. Patrick Connellan.
“These awards are our internal awards recognizing the firefighters on the Peace River, Weberville and Dixonville Fire Departments,” explains Harris.
“Other fire departments usually have their own types of awards as well.”
Service Bars and pins for five years of service on the fire department were also presented to Weberville senior fire- fighter Tim Berger, Peace River Chaplain Cornelio Esguerra, and Dixonville firefighter Cameron Jackson.
The fire departments also conducted a graduation ceremony to recognize the new members and their achievement. The 10 members inducted were Stephanie Amor, William Daub, Zachary Krahn, Terry
Ladue, Patrick Lavoie, Amy Li, Mark Owens, Kenzie Peterson, Michael Serata, and Attila Telek.
“New recruits join the department throughout the year and complete their basic training at various times,” says Harris.
“A special ceremony is held in the bay of the fire hall, with their family and friends in attendance. Graduating recruits receive their membership coin, their uniform firefighter epaulettes (to replace their probationary firefighter epaulettes), ring themselves into the department and recite an oath of service,” he adds.
The two departments are continually seeking additional members to join their teams. If you are interested, please contact Harris at (780) 624-2993 or tharris@peaceriver.ca.
“Firefighting is a very rewarding career, even as a casual or volunteer firefighter,” he says.
“The skills that firefighters learn can be used in their family and work life and are also an aid to personal and professional development. Also being part of a team that serves the community in which you live can be very fulfilling.”

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