Ap­pre­ci­a­tion din­ner held for St. An­thony Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment

Fed­eral and pro­vin­cial politi­cians in at­ten­dance for event

Northern Pen - - EDITORIAL - KYLE GREENHAM

ST. AN­THONY, NL – Gath­ered to­gether at the town’s Royal Cana­dian Le­gion on Satur­day Oct. 21, gov­ern­ment min­is­ters and com­mu­nity mem­bers came to show their ap­pre­ci­a­tion for St. An­thony’s Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment.

Fire Chief Peter Green re­flected on the 23 vol­un­teers’ busy work this year, from house fires, chim­ney fires, and a car fire. The crew was even called to a sink­ing boat ear­lier this year.

Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Ed­die Joyce at­tended the ap­pre­ci­a­tion din­ner and as­sured the vol­un­teers that any fu­ture ap­pli­ca­tion for a new fire hall will be looked at with a “spe­cial and at­ten­tive eye.”

“When you see a fire, you run to help. That’s why ev­ery op­por­tu­nity I get I thank our vol­un­teer fire peo­ple for keep­ing our com­mu­ni­ties safe,” said Joyce. “Your new fire truck is com­ing in Novem­ber, and with that will come our con­tin­ual sup­port to fire­fight­ers.”

Joyce also stressed the im­por­tance of log­ging the de­tails of fires, as it can be­come an im­por­tant re­source if fire­fight­ers were to ever be di­ag­nosed with can­cer. As well, he dis­cussed a fu­ture com­mit­tee put in place to help first re­spon­ders in the prov­ince who suf­fer from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der (PTSD).

“With the re­spon­si­bil­ity placed on them now, I’ve wit­nessed it many times in our first re­spon­ders,” he said. “Gov­ern­ment is look­ing to pro­tect all first re­spon­ders with this is­sue.”

Long Range Moun­tains MP Gudie Hutch­ings and St. Bar­beL’Anse aux Mead­ows MHA Christo­pher Mitchel­more also spoke to the vol­un­teers and their fam­i­lies, ex­tend­ing their grat­i­tude for the works they do and risks they take.

Hutch­ings com­mented on how sur­prised many in Ot­tawa are when she talks about the preva­lence of vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments in New­found­land and Labrador.

St. An­thony’s newly ap­pointed Mayor Des­mond McDon­ald also pre­pared a speech for the event.

“The time you de­vote and the sac­ri­fices you make are sec­ond to none,” McDon­ald told the vol­un­teers.

Green handed out flow­ers to each of the Firettes, the fire de­part­ment’s ladies’ aux­il­iary, to thank them for their con­tri­bu­tions and help to the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Af­ter the din­ner and speeches were through, mu­sic was pro­vided by the band Ja­son Rogers. To con­clude the evening’s speeches, Deputy Mayor Krista How­ell read words from a fire­fighter on the sense of duty that is en­grained in the role.

“For those will­ing to an­swer the call, it’s sec­ond na­ture,” said How­ell. “And that’s en­graved in each and ev­ery one of you here.”

The St. An­thony Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment of 2017.

KYLE GREENHAM/THE NORTH­ERN PEN

Fire Chief Peter Green of­fered a gift bas­ket to Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs Min­is­ter and En­vi­ron­ment Ed­die Joyce.

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