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Firefighters honoured for years of service

By December 15, 2022No Comments
Assistant fire chief Bill Heesing, Captain Brad Martin, Captain Kevin Lider (not pictured) and firefighters Maverick Hann, Stu McPhee and Keith Rushton were honoured with medals of service on Monday outside of Lloydminster council chambers. Taylor Weaver Meridian Source

 

Members of the public can rest easy knowing the dedication, commitment and years of experience coursing through the Lloydminster Fire Department (LFD).

On Monday afternoon, six members of the LFD were honoured with bars and medals in recognition of years in the service. 

Firefighters Stu McPhee, Keith Rushton (14 years total), Maverick Hann (14 years total), and Captain Brad Martin (16 years total) received 12-year medals of service. 

Assistant fire chief Bill Heesing received a 32-year bar, and Captain Kevin Lider, who wasn’t able to attend Monday’s ceremony, was honoured with a 40-year bar.

“Having this number of people here with 12, 30, 40 years of service, just shows the dedication these members have within the community and the level of protection the city with these members and that experience,” said Fire chief Leigh Sawicki.

“We (currently) have a lot of young members, and we encourage new recruits. Having these types of members (being honoured today) with this level of experience that can pass that experience on to younger members, I think is incredible.”

Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers echoed Sawicki, noting the LFD is staffed by “excellent individuals.”

“We’ve got a very dedicated fire department and team, and we’re very proud of them,” he said. 

“Some of those were volunteers before we became a composite fire department, and that shows today, 32 years, 40 years, as well as 12 years recognized.”

For Heesing, having spent almost four years fighting fires in the Border City, a 30-year career in the fire service is something he’s proud of.

“Thirty years in the service is quite the accomplishment. I’m pretty excited, I’m pretty privileged to serve in the communities I’ve served in,” he said.

Heesing comes from an industrial background and started his career in the service in Fort Saskatchewan over 20 years ago before moving to Lloydminster.

Heesing also pointed out the sense of pride all members of the LFD share during ceremonies like this.

“It’s exciting to see and it’s showing the growth of our department, the teamwork we have, and the members that are committed to serving the community of Lloydminster,” he said. 

“Behind me, we have 48 years of experience just in the guys that got their 12 years of service, which is pretty awesome to see.”

With a career spanning three decades, Heesing said the biggest thing he’s learned over the years is to always be prepared for change.

“Change in technology, change in apparatus, change in equipment, trying and stay on top (of things) to keep the members you serve safe and keep the community safe,” he said.

“The team we have here is committed to serving the community and committed to being part of the Lloydminster fire team.”