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Crossfield Fire Department awards medals to longstanding volunteers

“The highlight [of the event] was getting everybody together to celebrate these milestone service medals and being able to share that with not only our peers, but our mayor and council,” said Crossfield Fire Chief Ben Niven.

The Crossfield Fire Department awarded four longstanding volunteers, both past and present, with service longevity medals to recognize their service to the community at ceremony held at the Crossfield Fire Department on Sept. 13.

The annual in-person award ceremony was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but was able to go ahead this year, and included a special appearance from Crossfield Mayor Kim Harris.

During the evening’s presentation, awards were divvied out to two current volunteers, including Crossfield Fire Chief Ben Niven, who received the Alberta Emergency Services Medal bronze bar for his 22 years of service, and Cpt. Mark Lang, who received the Alberta Emergency Services Medal for his 12 years of services.

Past volunteers who were honoured included Bob Ross, who received the Fire Service Exemplary Service Medal for 20 years of service, and Justin Fuhriman (now of the Airdrie Fire Department), who received the Alberta Emergency Service Medal for 12 years of service.

“The highlight [of the event] was getting everybody together to celebrate these milestone service medals and being able to share that with not only our peers, but our mayor and council,” said Crossfield Fire Chief Ben Niven in an interview.

The fire chief extended his appreciation to Crossfield’s council and mayor for their ongoing support in the fire department’s fire service, and their emergency-response efforts in the community.

"Having everybody in the same room to present these medals and have the mayor assist me in those presentations was awesome – I must say that it was a great experience,” Niven added.

According to Niven, Alberta Emergency Service Medals are awarded after both 12 and 22 years of service.

“Those awards are given to folks that have hit those milestones of service to not only the residents of which the fire department may reside, but also we want to make sure the guys feel they are being recognized for all the dedication it takes to be here,” Niven said.

He added all firefighters work on a volunteer basis with occasional pay on a call-by-call basis. The volunteer chief said it’s important to recognize Crossfield’s members who have shown dedication in their volunteer efforts over the years.

“It’s not like anything else, like a club, where you’re meeting once in a while and doing fundraising and everything else,” he said. “There’s a lot of dedication that goes into being a firefighter – or a first responder, for that matter.

“And when you’re volunteering your time and going on calls, it does take a lot away from your family, so to be able to recognize these folks for their years of service, is an excellent way to say thank you. “

He added the award ceremony is aimed at giving members something in return for their contributions to the community, its residents, and guests.


Carmen Cundy

About the Author: Carmen Cundy

Carmen Cundy joined the Airdrie Today team in March 2021.
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