Ban­ner year for Bri­gus bri­gade

Re­cruit­ment a theme at 2012 fire­fight­ers’ ball

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

suc­cess­ful

In mem­ory of David

New mem­ber

The Bri­gus Vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade capped off a suc­cess­ful years at its an­nual fire­fight­ers’ ball at the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in Bri­gus on Oct. 27.

The hor­rid weather out­side could not af­fect the at­mos­phere inside, as fire­fight­ers min­gled with the likes of Lib­eral MP Scott An­drews, Har­bour Main MHA Tom Hed­der­son, Grand Falls-Wind­sorChief Vince McKen­zie and mem­bers of nearby Bay de Grave Re­gional Fire Depart­ment.

Bri­gus Mayor By­ron Rod­way — also a fire­fighter —said the town is proud to have “such an ac­tive fire depart­ment.”

It’s a vi­va­cious group of ded­i­cated men who spend count­less hours fundrais­ing throughout the year and giv­ing back to their community, through events such as the Blue­berry Fes­ti­val and oth­ers.

Last April, the bri­gade served some 380 plates of fish n’brewis on Good Fri­day.

Two weeks prior to the Oct. 14 Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Pla­cen­tia Health Foun­da­tion telethon, the bri­gade set up a toll booth in the community, and ended up do­nat­ing more than $1,400 to the cause.

“Peo­ple don’t re­al­ize the work that you do,” said Hed­der­son. “You are al­ways on the job.

“It’s been an­other year.”

An­drews echoed sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments.

“Thanks for ev­ery­thing that you do,” he said. “I, for one, sleep a lit­tle bet­ter at night.”

Chief Rod­ney Mercer told the at­ten­dees the bri­gade re­sponded to a dozen calls over the last 12 months, and had eight prac­tices.

“For a small bri­gade, we’re not do­ing too bad,” he said.

The Bri­gus bri­gade is com­prised of 20 mem­bers and three hon­orary fire­fight­ers.

On a sad note, the Bri­gus bri­gade suf­fered a loss in its ranks, with long­time fire­figher David Percy pass­ing away on Nov. 26, 2011.

Mercer started off his ad­dress with a mo­ment of si­lence for his fallen com­rade. Af­ter, Mercer told a story about David that in­volved the St. John’s Maple Leafs, a Mol­son booth and a La­batt Blue shirt.

“He’ll be missed,” Mercer said.

Mark Jer­rett is the new­est mem­ber of the bri­gade, hav­ing com­pleted his cer­ti­fi­ca­tion course a week be­fore the ball.

The an­nounce­ment made by Mercer was in good tim­ing based on the words spo­ken by Mayor By­ron Rod­way and guest speaker Vince McKen­zie.

Rod­way said a con­cern for the fire depart­ment was re­cruit­ment.

“It seems like the young peo­ple are not as in­ter­ested,” he said.

Rod­way preached a re­newed com­mit­ment by the depart­ment to bol­ster­ing its ranks.

McKen­zie, who’s fam­ily partly orig­i­nates in Bri­gus, called new blood in the fire depart­ment the best re­source go­ing for­ward.

He called fire­fight­ers the most im­por­tant peo­ple in the community.

“’Sit­ting around you here tonight in their uni­forms, they are the most valu­able as­set in your community and the com­mu­ni­ties that they serve,” said McKen­zie.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Pho­tos by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

The Bri­gus Vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade held its an­nual ball at the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in Bri­gus on Oct. 27. Mem­bers of the bri­gade are: seated (l-r) — Ge­orge Fry, David King, Peter Fry, Chief Rod­ney Mercer, Blair Mercer and Barry Eng­land; back — Ken Broughton, David Bar­rett, By­ron Rod­way, Den­zil Nor­man, Tom Ryan Sr., Tom Ryan Jr., Bill King, Ju­nior Mercer and Gary Spooner. Miss­ing from photo are Mark Jer­rett, Fred Wil­liams, Tony Pritchard, and As­stant Chief Gra­ham His­cock.

Bri­gus fire­fighter Den­zil Nor­man (cen­tre) was rec­og­nized for his 40 years of vol­un­teer ser­vice to the bri­gade. He is seen here with Chief Rod­ney Mercer (left) and Har­bour Main MHA Tom Hed­der­son.

Fire­fighter Tommy Ryan (right) re­ceives his cer­tifi­cate for marine fire­fight­ing for land-based fire­fight­ers from New­found­land and Labrador As­so­ci­a­tion of Fire Ser­vices pres­i­dent Vince McKen­zie.

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