Awards Night at Pugwash Fire Department
A rookie was named Firefighter of the Year tonight at the annual Awards Banquet of the Pugwash Fire Department.
Corey Martin was the unanimous selection by the department officers. The first year member has already become a fixture around the department and just one training session from completing his Level One Certification.
He is shown in the photo, second from the left, joined by left to right: Deputy Chief Ron Betts Jr., Martin, Chief Andy Yarrow, and Deputy Chief Robert Carter.
Other awards included a plaque to Natasha Gullens who attended the most training sessions, and Robert Carter for the best overall attendance in the department and most emergency calls attended.
Service awards were given for five year, ten year and longer service. Chief Andy Yarrow was honoured for 25 years of service, while Deputy Chief Robert Carter has served 40 years with the PFD.
The department has 33 members, including a growing contingent of six females who serve as officers, front-line firefighters, and new trainees.
The chief noted a changing nature in the service as more and more calls require medical assistance. While the department trains for medical emergencies with a growing number of Medical First Responders, the fire service is not compensated for medical emergencies, a matter that falls under provincial jurisdiction. The Province funds the EMS service which is leaning on fire departments for greater assistance with each passing year. Fire departments across Nova Scotia now average 30 percent of their calls for medical assistance.
The MLA for Cumberland North, Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin and Warden Al Gillis took part in the award presentations.
The MLA urged the department to keep fighting for what it needs to be effective. Referring to the coastline served by PFD she said, “You know what you need for equipment, better than anyone in Halifax or anywhere else.” It was a shot across the bow of Cumberland Municipal Council which has not helped the department secure a long-needed water rescue boat, a source of friction between the department and Warden Gillis.
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