For the first time since 2019, Bonnyville Station 5 was able to host its Firefighter appreciation night.
The night saw many people gather together with the volunteers being recognized for their hard work and service.
Regional Fire Chief Dan Heney says the evening is special.
“It was really nice to recognize our staff. They put in thousands of hours every year both in emergency responses, in training, in public appearances, and in education and it is really nice to sit down with them and have some supper and hand out some awards and appreciation gifts.”
Awards were given out for five years of service, ten years of service, and finally the firefighter of the year award.
All firefighters who would have hit milestone awards over the past few years but were unable to be awarded due to covid-19 were recognized as part of the night.
Coltin Batke, Gideon Hancock, Shepherd Murenje, Pireee Pelchat, and Dakota Theroux were all given the Five-year service award with Colin Atkinson, Josh Dovedoff, Dave Pepin, and Craig Wenzel all receiving the Ten-year service award.
Gideon Hancock was also presented with the big award of the night, the firefighter of the year award.
“Gideon is a dedicated member of Bonnyville Station 5 and makes it a priority to be available whenever needed.”
Heney says these nights are special and not just for recognition but also to bring the staff together.
“I have got lots of folks when I started that I haven’t seen since the mid-nineties that I was a rookie with and when I see them it’s like an old home wake. I always hesitate to use the word brotherhood but it is very much a family thing.”
A total of 10,000 dollars was raised for Rednecks with a Cause throughout the night with auctions.