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Town of Yarmouth holds event for volunteer firefighters and for businesses that allow them to serve

From left: Brian LeBlanc, Stewart Deveau, Angie Greene and Cindy LeBlanc were among those attending an Oct. 9 reception at Yarmouth town hall.  The event recognized local businesses for letting employees who are firefighters respond to fire calls while at work. The two LeBlancs and Deveau accepted certificates of appreciation on behalf of their businesses or employers. Greene was there representing the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce, of which she is president.
From left: Brian LeBlanc, Stewart Deveau, Angie Greene and Cindy LeBlanc were among those attending an Oct. 9 reception at Yarmouth town hall. The event recognized local businesses for letting employees who are firefighters respond to fire calls while at work. The two LeBlancs and Deveau accepted certificates of appreciation on behalf of their businesses or employers. Greene was there representing the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce, of which she is president. - Eric Bourque

You never know what kind of emergency might happen, so when Cindy LeBlanc sees one of her employees – a volunteer firefighter – responding to a fire call, she hopes her worker will stay safe.

“We worry about her,” said LeBlanc, manager of the seasonal department at Canadian Tire in Yarmouth. “We worry, because it can be dangerous, but we also know she’s been trained and she’ll be careful and we just wait for her to let us know she’s alright.”

LeBlanc also knows the importance of volunteers to the fire service, as do many other local businesses that have employees who are volunteer firefighters.

It was to express its appreciation to some of those businesses that the Town of Yarmouth held a special reception at the town hall, where 20 local businesses were recognized.

When a fire call comes in and her employee has to leave, LeBlanc says others step in to do her job.

“We know how important it is for her to go to that call,” LeBlanc said. “We just take right over until she can come back and if she can’t, we just finish up and then we see her the next day.”

Brian LeBlanc of Acadian Plumbing & Heating & Electrical – another of the businesses recognized by the town – has two volunteer firefighters on his staff and he acknowledges fire calls can disrupt work a bit.

“There are times that you were expecting to be at a certain place and then the whole day is changed, so you just regroup,” LeBlanc said. “Overall, it works out.”

LeBlanc knows first-hand how critical volunteers are to the fire service. He was a volunteer firefighter for 20 years.

“Having been a part of it, you have a good idea what it’s all about,” he said.

Stewart Deveau, a longtime volunteer with the fire department in Yarmouth, said it’s very important to have businesses that will let their employees respond to fire calls, if possible.

“I can see where it would cause an issue and we respect that,” said Deveau, who works at the Rodd Grand Hotel, another of the businesses recognized by the town.

If fire departments could get more volunteer firefighters, it would help spread the burden, he said, so if someone can’t make it to a fire call for work reasons, perhaps an employee from another business could.

Angie Greene, president of the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce, who also was on hand for the Oct. 9 reception, said volunteering with the fire service is a great way for businesses to be involved in their community.

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