Saint-Lazare firefighters recognized
Governor General medals awarded
Seven Saint-Lazare firefighters were awarded Governor General of Canada Distinguished Service medals during a special ceremony that was held last Friday night.
The evening that also recognized the fire department’s 30th anniversary, was attended by close to 100 people including Vaudreuil-Soulanges MP Jamie Nicholls, Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois, Saint-Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo, Director General Serge Tremblay and Daniel Boyer, Director of the town’s Fire Safety and Public Security department.
Boyer additionally received a Distinguished Service medal for 30 years of service to the town.
Six medals recognizing 20 years of service that were given Friday in Governor General David Johnston’s name, were presented by Nicholls and Charlebois to firefighters Alain Deguire, Jean Goudreau, Patrick Lefebvre, Alain Letarte, Pierre Ranger and Martin Tanguay.
The laurels honour men and women who have devoted long, outstanding service to public safety.
When thanking his team, Boyer recalled the highs and lows during his years on the job.
“We have come a long way, when I think of our first pumper in 1967 and first tanker in 1974,” he recalled, adding, “We worked miracles out of nothing.”
For his part, Grimaudo said fire fighting was not a job but a vocation.
The mayor also said that after 30 years, the firefighters deserved “a real station rather than operating space in a garage.”
A sad moment was introduced when the 1984 death of firefighter Charles Goulet, 35, was remembered. Goulet died after fighting a barn fire and becoming ill after leaving the scene. He was given a civic funeral.
The first Saint-Lazare fire department consisted of 25 volunteer firefighters. It served a population of 4,500 people, and responded to 40 calls a year.
Currently some 20,000 people call the town home, while the fire department responds to more than 450 fire calls and 600 medical emergencies a year. Fortythree firefighters and first responders serve the town.