Volunteer Firefighter Appreciation

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At a reception and dinner held on October 1, 2010 at the Atlantica Hotel and Oak Island Marina, volunteer firefighters, medical first responders, and fire department support members of the seven Fire Departments of The Municipality of the District of Chester were recognized and thanked for their selfless dedication and invaluable service to the community. This was the third annual recognition dinner honoring the efforts of our volunteer first responders.

Fire Department members from Blandford, Chester, Chester Basin, New Ross, Hubbards, Martin River and Western Shore attended and were honored for their dedication to the community's emergency response services. There are currently over 200 men and women who serve as first responders in our District, all of whom put in many hours each month in training and emergency response.

The recognition event was co-sponsored by Denise Peterson-Rafuse, MLA for Chester and St. Margaret's Bay, The Municipality of the District of Chester, The Chester Municipal Chamber of Commerce, The Aspotogan Heritage Trust and Atlantica Hotel and The Oak Island Marina. Many local area businesses and the Chester Village Commission also contributed to the recognition dinner.

Matthew MacKenzie, General Manager of the Atlantica Hotel and Oak Island Marina, welcomed all the fire department members and invited guests. He stressed his true appreciation of the volunteer emergency services in protecting our lives and properties.

Denise Peterson-Rafuse thanked the firefighters for their dedication in serving their community, saving lives and protecting our homes, property and businesses. She was clear to point out that the men and women of our emergency services put their lives on the line for us each day and that all of this hard work is done on a volunteer basis. She offered her assistance as an advocate to provide ongoing support and assistance to the fire departments.

Erin Beaudin, CAO, Municipality of the District of Chester, followed with her appreciation of all the members of the departments. She stressed that the Municipality is working closely with the departments to ensure that they have the support they need. Erin mentioned the additional work that all Departmenst were doing during the Fire Prevention Week, October 3-9, 2010.

Denise and Erin then presented a plaque to each of the Fire Departments to recognize their dedication and ongoing support to the community.

Erin spoke further on her appreciation of the support that the family members give to the first responders. Every hour that they spend at an emergency scene or at the firehall is an hour away from their familiies. Without the support of the family members the role of the first responder whould be much more diffcult if not impossible.

The Fire Chiefs of all Departmenst were asked to rejoin Erin for the presentation of a Certificate of Appreciation for the Families. This certificate will be posted at each Fire Hall.

A donation to the IWK Burn Unit in the name of each seven departments will be made in October.

Everyone attending enjoyed the reception and dinner and appreciated the recognition of the ongoing efforts and community service.