When John Bath was called up to receive his awards for 50 years of service with the Middleton Fire Department, he received more than just awards. He got a standing ovation from the large crowd that attended the Middleton Fire Department’s annual banquet and awards gala.
It was perhaps the highlight of the evening, but Bath wasn’t the only one recognized. John Thompson and Alan Cooke were honoured for 45 years of service, and master of ceremonies Lorne Brown with 30 years, and Kent Smith with 25 years were also called up to the front for awards reflecting their service. Five-year service awards went to Leon Langile and Danial Foley, while 10 year honours went to Justin Westcott.
Fire Chief Mike Toole and Deputy Scott Veinot handed out most of the awards – except when it came to Firefighter of the Year. That went to Veinot with Toole doing the presenting.
And Crew of the Year was Capt. Jody Spidle’s Truck 11 that consists of Spidle, Mathias Abbott, Lorne Brown, Mark Ejdrygiewicz, Dustin MacNeil, Hilliard Ewing, Jaimee Penny, Patrick Redwood, and Adam Tkaczuk.
The Dean Brown Memorial Award was presented by Lorne Brown and Ron Brown to Kent Smith.
Middleton Fireflies, the group that supports the fire department by holding numerous soup fundraisers ever year, donated $13,000 to Chief Toole.
Chief Toole said it was another busy year with a grand total of 9,023 hours logged for 2018, plus many non-logged time for weekly and monthly meetings.
This year’s big news is that Middleton Fire will be hosting the national Fire Fit Challenge on Aug. 3-4 at the NSCC campus.
“This event is held across Canada and we had the opportunity to host it this year,” Chief Toole said. “The committee, which includes us and local fire department members along with a huge group of volunteers, are hard at work with monthly meetings to make sure this event is a huge success.”
He said Fire Fit Challenge has the potential to bring as many as 2,000 people to the Town of Middleton over that weekend and should be a good boost to the local economy.
“If you have never had the chance to see hardcore firefighting strength and power, come on out and cheer on the teams,” he said, “and if you’re really brave and would like to compete, you can register online.”