AMHERST – The Amherst Fire Department handed out hardware to firefighters during their annual banquet recently held at the Amherst Fire Hall.
Greg Jones, fire chief for the AFD, talked about the impact fire fighters have on the community.
“I know a person who quite often says ‘hello, how’s are you doing chief.’
It’s someone who years ago, and a couple of you here will remember, that we pulled them out of a structure fire, and they still remember,” said Jones. “That happens quite a lot. For staff here in this building we see people come here all the time, and we as members, at one point, have gone to their home, or their property, or to a vehicle accident and helped them out.”
The Amherst Fire Department was founded in 1883, and 2018 will mark the 135 anniversary of the Amherst Fire Department.
Jones talked about the many changes over the years but said many things remain the same
“Many things we do as members are no different than they were in the very first three or four years of this department,” said Jones.
He says the goal has always been to serve the community.
“Ultimately, as firefighters, there is one common goal that we have had over the last almost 135 years. That common goal is to provide our community with great service by using our knowledge, skills and our experience to help regardless of the situation, and to also have a family in the fire service,” said Jones. “When you look back at what you’ve personally done in the fire service over the years, both the good and the bad, through the best of times and the worst of times, we have always had the opportunity on any given call or any situation, no matter how big or small, to help someone and they remember it.”
Firefighters recognized for years of active service at the Amherst Fire Department:
David Ralston – 40 years
Robert Sears – 35 years
Steven Wood – 25 years
Paul Lacey – 15 years
Marty Furlong – 10 years
Trevor Gaillard – 10 years
Chris Clark – 10 years
Other awards included:
Volunteer of the Year – Craig Churchill
Rookie of the Year – Kevin LePage
Dwight Wheaton was recognized for 50 hours as the ladder sitter for the 2017 ladder sit fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy.
Retired firefighters were also recognized:
A special presentation was also made to the town’s 33 retired firefighters who had served at least 20 years with the department before retiring.
Jones presented those members with a newly minted badge that is nationally accepted by the fire service. The badge, a silver crest with a red maple for retired firefighters and a gold crest with a red maple leaf for retired fire officers, will be worn on the left arm of their uniform.
“Thank you all to our honourary members,” said Jones. “We appreciate those that came before us. Thank you.”