Norfolk County honoured the men and women that have served, and will serve the community as firefighters during a special presentation last week.
The 20 men and women that make up the class of 2018 were welcomed by Norfolk deputy chief Gord Stillwell at the May 22 event.
“I am proud to welcome the recruit class of 2018,” Stillwell said in a press release. “Every recruit class has different people from different backgrounds, but the consistency of each class is the determination and hard work to complete their training and develop into a Norfolk County Firefighter. The journey to become a volunteer firefighter is challenging and also equally rewarding, which always evolves into new relationships that will last a lifetime.”
The class of 2018 includes Michael Ion, Mark Wedman, Brennan Maxwell, Thomas Winter, Nickolas DeWachter, Joshua Butyn, Tyler Stefan, Jeremiah Phillips, Richard Csoff, Andrew Mater, Brandon Ronson, Jacqueline Mussel, Stephen Lem, Valeria Searle, Cody Leedham, Jeff Balkwill, Brady Crandall, Jayson Schnarr, Katie Ballantyne, and Matthew Barber.
Also being honoured were 16 department members with service time of 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years.
The 20-year award recipients were Daryl Giles, Robert Wrightman, and Bill Walsh. The 25-year award recipients were Kevin Mason, Randy Broughton, and Michael Carrier. The 30-year award recipient was Jeff Cumin. Len Herrewynen, Max Adam, Ben Lauwerier, Randy Lisabeth, and Willy Van Paassen were honoured for 35 years of service. The 40-year award recipients were Allen Gunton, Rick Gamble, Brian Willems, and Greg Gardner.
The department also bid farewell to six retirees – Dennis Wardell, Doug Hare, Brian Taylor, Dave Demeester, Barry Stackhouse, and Rick Shier. The retirees have delivered 185 years of service combined.
“Our retiring firefighters have provided many years of service to their home communities as well as to Norfolk County as a whole,” Stillwell said. “They love being a firefighter and helping out their family, friends, and neighbours in times of need. During these many years of service, each one of them will agree that they have seen personal sacrifice to help the residents of Norfolk County, but have no regrets.
“I would like to say thank you on behalf of Norfolk County for your extraordinary efforts to support the fire service and pave the way for the recruits coming into the service with the changes that each and every one of you have been part of throughout the years.”
The ceremony was held at the Norfolk County fire department headquarters on Culver Street in Simcoe.