(Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Agassiz Fire Department honours local members

The awards ceremony saw established and rookie firefighters celebrated for their contributions

Agassiz firefighters were celebrated for their commitment to the community at the department’s annual awards banquet this year.

Mayor Sylvia Pranger, along with Kent councillors and other first responders in the area, were on hand to recognize local firefighters at the Agassiz Friendship House on Saturday, Nov. 23.

Two of the awards presented were given out to new members, both of whom had five years with the Agassiz Fire Department.

Firefighter and charitable society secretary Colin Kerkhoff was recognized for having the most volunteer hours for 2019. Throughout the year he had spent hours volunteering at community events like Canada Day, the Fall Fair and the department’s fire prevention week open house, as well as crafting a podium with the department logo and a bell mount stand for ceremonies.

Lt. Christopher Renaud took home the James G. Morrow memorial award for Rookie of the Year, which honours members with five years of service or less in the department. According to a release from the department, Renaud was recently promoted to lieutenant and “continues to excel as a leader in the training and operations of the AFD.”

SEE ALSO: First responder and tow truck celebrity remembered in Princeton

Renaud and Kerkhoff both received their five-year service pins at the banquet, along with Lt. Art Neels.

Taking home the Carl Tyfting Memorial Shield was Cpt. Cory Schaeffer. Schaeffer was voted “firefighter of the year” by company officers for his willingness to share his knowledge of firefighting, technical rescues and wildland firefighting tactics.

According to the AFD release, Schaeffer stood out above the rest and exemplified the fire department’s goals, as well as “demonstrated excellent commitment and leadership.”

In addition to the Agassiz Fire Department’s internal awards, two firefighters also received commendation from the provincial government for their long-standing service.

Chris Wilson was awarded the British Columbia Long Service Medal for 25 years of service as a firefighter. Wilson began serving with the Surrey Fire Rescue, and completed two years there before moving to the Agassiz Fire Department, where he is both a firefighter and treasurer for the Agassiz Firefighters’ Charitable Society.

Wilson’s wife Deanna Wilson was also recognized, receiving the provincial dogwood pin from the B.C. Office of the Fire Commissioner. The pin is intended to recognize the sacrifice and contribution of spouses who have partners with 25 years of service or more as a firefighter.

Finally, department chief Gerald Basten was honoured for his 35 years of service to the Agassiz Fire Department.

Basten has spent all 35 of his firefighting years with the Agassiz department, beginning by answering calls when he was a teenager in high school. Now chief of the department, Basten is the second-longest serving active member of the AFD — beaten only by Alan Pryor with 49 years of service.



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack Agriculture Tour goes virtual during pandemic

Rather than bus tourists to local farms, tour stops will be posted on Facebook and Instagram

Agassiz man ‘dumbfounded ’ after winning $25,000 Keno prize

Dale Zinko purchased his ticket at the Agassiz Elks Lodge

Chilliwack Chiefs to play home-heavy preseason slate

The BCHL team will play 11 exhibition games, only three of them on the road

City of Chilliwack holding annual Hazardous Waste Day in early October

The one-day event is a chance to get rid of household things like pesticides and paint cans

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at B.C. border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

Most Read