South Frontenac Township was abuzz with excitement last night, as the mayor, councillors, staff, and members of the public gathered to welcome 24 new firefighters to the community.
South Frontenac Fire and Rescue Station 6 hosted the 2019 Volunteer Firefighter Recruit Graduation Ceremony on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, where dozens of fire personnel were joined by members of South Frontenac Council, and family members of the two dozen new firefighters. The new members of South Frontenac Fire and Rescue (SFFR) have just completed six months of extensive training, and are now able to respond to fires and emergencies in the area.
According to the township, the recruitment of this large number of new volunteer firefighters is part of a multi-year plan to bolster and modernize SFFR under the direction of Fire Chief Darcy Knott. This growth will help ensure SFFR can continue to provide great service while the area is experiencing significant growth pressure. South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal spoke to this while addressing those in attendance, thanking the families of the new firefighters for their continuous support at home.
“I also want to thank Council for their ongoing support of the fire service and the steps that have been taken to position South Frontenac Fire & Rescue to continue providing exemplary service to our growing municipality,” Vandewal said. “I am grateful for each and every member of SFFR for dedicating their lives to protection of life and property in South Frontenac.”
SFFR is a hybrid fire and rescue force made up of 110 volunteer firefighters. According to the township, SFFR consists of eight fire stations located throughout the township and 36 apparatus, which help protect 18,646 residents over 941 square kilometres, thanks to the volunteer firefighters.
“The men and women sitting before you are the cream of the crop. They have received the same level of training as a full time fire fighter in any city across North America, and now hold certifications that are internationally recognized,” said Chief Knott, noting that the 2019 recruitment campaign was the most involved and successful in South Frontenac’s history.
“I am continually amazed by the dedication, commitment, and professionalism of the volunteer firefighters of South Frontenac Fire and Rescue,” Knott continued. “This graduating group of new firefighters share those same qualities and have already exhibited great comradery throughout this process. I congratulate them on this achievement and welcome them to the SFFR family!”