A number of volunteer firefighters were recognized at the recent Sun Peaks Gala for their dedication and hard work.
The gala, which took place on Nov. 12, is an annual event presented by Sun Peaks Volunteer Fire Department Society. This year the gala raised money for their society and the Sun Peaks Freestyle Club.
In addition to fundraising, the event serves as an opportunity to honour local firefighters. This year, Chief Dean Schiavon called up volunteers to the stage to accept certificates and awards.
The first group recognized were those who completed the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1001 certification, which included Jacob Brock, Robin Kierstead, Charlie Kinloch, Tyne Roberts and James Griffiths.
There were also seven firefighters who completed a week-long technical rope rescue course — Robin Kierstead, Korbin Kjolby, Emily Kozlik, Pat Nasilowski, Tyne Roberts, Griffiths and Campbell Bryk. Griffiths also completed a NFPA 1031 fire inspector level one course.
A few long-time members of Sun Peaks Fire Rescue were recognized as well. Deputy Chief Colin Cannon, who is the longest current serving member, was awarded for 25 years of service. Meanwhile, Schiavon was recognized for 15 years of service and Neil Otsig retired after volunteering for 23 years.
There were also a number of new awards Schiavon introduced at the gala.
“I thought it was important to start some new awards to recognize how much the volunteers contribute to the community,” Schiavon said in an email to SPIN.
Korbin Kjolby was awarded for attending the most fire practices, having only missed one practice over the past year. Mike Billheimer was recognized for attending the most calls.
There were two awards voted on by the volunteer membership. Casey Lambert was voted rookie of the year and Robin Kierstead was voted for the citizenship award.
Lastly, Schiavon selected Billheimer for the fire chief’s award to recognize his overall dedication.
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