Fire school graduates seven area firefighters

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September 16, 2014 10:35 AM

The Britannia Wilton Fire Department held a special gathering Sept. 10 to honour a group of seven individuals who took the time to gain their National Fire Protection Association 1001 diplomas from the Office of the Fire Commissioner of Saskatchewan. J.D. Lloyd was on hand for the presentation. Back row, from left, Gerry Yaremy; Capt. Aaron Buckingham, Deputy Chief Jeff Malin, Craig Robertson and Bill Caverly. Front, Dean Loerzel, Steph McKinnon, on behalf of Paul; Deputy Chief Shane Seaman and Capt. Shane Fritsch. - Tom Pierson Photo

The Britannia Wilton Fire Department enjoyed a proud moment Sept.10 when seven of its members received their National Fire Protection Association 1001 diplomas from the Office of the Fire Commissioner of Saskatchewan. J.D. Lloyd was on hand from the Fire Commissioners Office to distribute the awards.

“This culminates numerous years of study and practical testing by our members which is no small feat while holding full time jobs and family commitments while completing this college level program” said a statement released by the BWFD.

Department Capt. Aaron Buckingham was one of the recipients of this certificate which is, “In essence,” he said, “being able to be called a full time firefighter. We have now all of the qualifications to have that certification. It’s been years in the making for us because we all have jobs, we are a volunteer fire department, we all have families, we all have other commitments, so we took this course over a number of years, and it took a lot of time and a lot of effort.”

It was not an easy thing to achieve for this group of seven firefighters because they had to write college level exams, for one thing. Something many have not done for awhile.

“The feeling of pride tonight is something that is unrivalled,” said Buckingham. “It’s a proud moment for the department, and it should be a proud moment for the community we serve. Because what happens now, is all of these members are now trained to the highest level we can provide for them at this point.

“It enhances our community service, it enhances what we are able to do, the efficiency at which we are able to do it. If you stop learning, you are not doing anybody any service. So, we will continue to take courses, continue to enhance our services here, but for now, this is a real step forward in community service and a real feeling of pride.”

Out of the 30 fire-fighters working under the Britannia/Wilton banner, these are the first seven to receive their shields. Currently Buckingham says, “I have a class of ten right now.” This brings up the point that two of the seven have gone on to become instructors.

The 10 currently enrolled in the course are from Britannia/Wilton, Marshall and Lashburn. For the current batch of graduates, Buckingham said, “The guys are very proud and we hope the community is proud too.”

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