Exactly a year and one day from the launch of the bi-annual Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment campaign, South Frontenac Fire and Rescue celebrated the achievements of 21 new volunteer recruits in the presence of their families, peers, and Council on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021.
Following six months of extensive training, these committed and passionate individuals are now qualified to respond to fire and medical emergencies, protecting the life and property of their fellow residents, according to a release from the Township of South Frontenac. In addition to training many South Frontenac Fire and Rescue (SFFR) volunteers, this year’s program also included recruits from Central Frontenac and North Frontenac Townships.
In advance of providing the new recruits with their diplomas, Mayor Ron Vandewal passed on his congratulations to the graduating class for their achievements and best wishes moving forward. “Please know that the municipality and residents of South Frontenac are extremely appreciative of the commitment you all have made to keep our community safe,” he said.
“It’s no secret that Chief Knott and his team have made great strides over the past few years to ensure our fire service is efficient, well trained, and positioned to continue providing exemplary service to our growing community,” Mayor Vandewal continued. “I want to thank Council for their ongoing support of the fire service, as well as the entire SFFR team that remains committed to the protection of this community year over year.”
South Frontenac Volunteer Fire Fighters respond to a wide variety of situations, ranging from emergencies that threaten life or property to routine citizen requests for information or assistance, according to the release. Now that training has been completed, these men and women will join the rest of the SFFR personnel in combating, extinguishing and/or preventing fires, providing emergency medical response, and conducting rescue operations in order to prevent loss of life or further injury. SFFR firefighters are also involved in fire safety promotion, fire prevention, and public education activities that contribute to the creation of safe and vibrant communities, the Township said.
“I could not be more proud of the 21 men and women that sit before you – they have had a long six months of training during the pandemic and have worked extremely hard to make it to this day,” said Fire Chief Darcy Knott, Director of Fire and Emergency Services.
“Making this year even more unique, we had the opportunity to train with individuals from Central Frontenac and North Frontenac Townships, which really speaks to our ability to collaborate together as Frontenac County’s lower tiers,” explained Knott. “Residents of each municipality can feel good knowing they have some really qualified and experienced firefighters committed to keeping our communities safe.”
In addition to SFFR Senior Officers, the Chief Administrative Officers from South Frontenac, Central Frontenac, and North Frontenac, as well as Director of Emergency Services/ Fire Chief Eric Korhonen from North Frontenac Fire were also in attendance to celebrate the 2021 graduating class of new Volunteer Fire Fighters.
“Be proud of what you have become a part of, stay humble, remember the basics, and keep an eye on yourself and each other – these are the keys to success in the fire service,” said Deputy Fire Chief, Fire Prevention and Training, Alex Bennett.