June 20 saw the Bonnyville Fire Station gather in the Alberta Room at The Neighbourhood Inn to celebrate recent successes. The night also celebrated the spouses and significant others that back the firefighters through all the good times and bad times of being a firefighter. It was an unusual Tuesday for the members, as usually these types of events happen right at the hall.
“We typically do a lot of stuff at the fire hall. Tonight is just to get us away from there. This is a more comfortable space, and allows to bring in the spouses and significant others to celebrate. They’re there supporting us in all we do. It’s a big team.” Fire Chief Darryl Shyian said.
Seven new 1001 firefighters
The first part of the celebration recognized seven firefighters who had recently completed their 1001 firefighting courses. The addition of seven new members who have completed the course effectively doubles the number of 1001 firefighters at the Bonnyville Fire Department. 1001 firefighters are recognized as professionals across North America. The course is done on a voluntary basis, and consists of about 12 courses.
“It’s a significant accomplishment. It shows the dedication of the members. It’s offered through the regional authority. It’s additional career opportunities. It strengthens our department.” Shyian said about adding the new 1001 firefighters.
Two rookie members also graduated to yellow hat status within the department. The yellow hat means they will be taking a more active role within the department.
Dan Proctor retires
The night also served as a farewell to long time member of the Bonnyville Fire Department, Dan Proctor. Proctor started firefighting in New Brunswick. He moved out to Bonnyville in 2000 to pursue an oilfield job, and signed up to volunteer in Bonnyville almost immediately.
All in all
There were lots of a laughs, and maybe a couple of tears from Deputy Fire Chief Kelly Turzanski. After the ceremony was over, horderves were served. Members enjoyed a social night away from the station, while acknowledging each other’s accomplishments.