By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
Eight members of Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue were honored with the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal in a closed presentation on May 26th in Red Deer.
The Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal is a medal issued by the Federal Government and presented to long serving volunteers.
The medal itself is awarded for 20 years of service, and a bar is added to the medal for every 10 years of service after.
“It’s a really big deal,” said former Castor CAO Sandi Jackson.
“The wives were given pins as well.”
Firefighters Warren Rowland, Lonny Nelner, Patrick Kelly, Mike Yakielashek (retired), Marty Rowland, Laverne Allen, Scott Bagshaw, Lee Bagshaw and their wives were presented the medals by Alberta Lieutenant Governer of Alberta Lois Mitchell.
“The acknowledgement is fantastic,” said Fire Chief Patrick Kelly.
“But we are in it for the betterment of the community.”
Firefighters Lonny Nelner, Mike Yakielashek, and Laverne Allen each received their bar signifying 30 years as well.
The nominations for this award must be in by October of each year to the local federal government office. The nominations are then forwarded to Ottawa, and then sent back to local jurisdictions.
In total, 94 recipients were honoured for 2019 in Alberta, though due to many still being on active duty only about 60 were able to attend the presentation.
“We should have one or two more going next year,” said Chief Kelly. “We have eight others who are getting close. We just need to keep up on the paperwork.”
Jackson submitted the paperwork for this year’s awards in January of 2018, and only recently found out that the nominations had been accepted.
Because of her history as CAO with the members of the fire department, she was also invited to the presentation.
Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue is comprised of 18 volunteers, who respond to 30 to 40 emergency calls a year.