Day in and day out they are the first to respond to emergency situations from the minor fender benders to gruesome events, police officers and firefighters see it all.
And after a long day of work helping distressed citizens these first responders are often found giving back to their community by coaching kids’ sports, helping out at fundraisers and serving on community service clubs and boards.
With the area MP Claude Gravelle and MPP John Vanthoff and Mayor Joanne Savage in attendance, Emergency Officials of the Municipality of West Nipissing took time to celebrate those in their ranks who consistently have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Receiving Police Exemplary Service Award medal for 20 years of service were Constable Richard Savard and Inspector Raymond St Pierre, while Sergeant Norman Gingras – Retired received his medal for 30 years of outstanding service.
Police Chief Chuck Seguin and Fire Chief Richard Maranda also honoured four individuals, Michel Desormier of the Fire Service, Michel Paquette and Ken Paquette of the Police Service, and a citizen who put forth extreme efforts in their attempts to save a drowning victim at Tomiko Lake this past July.
“The three emergency personnel before you were off duty and enjoying the day with their families when they became aware of the situation,” Seguin explained.
“They responded and, along with Mr. Beauchamp, worked to the point of exhaustion in their attempts to rescue the victim. Despite their attempts, the victim did not survive and in fact it was later learned that he suffered a cardiac event.”
“Nevertheless, these individuals displayed courage and dedication to the preservation of life. Today we recognize their efforts with joint chiefs’ commendations.”
Lastly, with assistance from the West Nipissing Police Association President Frank Savage, Seguin presented Constable Michel Paquette with Certificate of Recognition from both the Police Service and the Police Association for his dedication and championing the Kids and Cops shopping program.
“Over the past five years, I have had the pleasure of witnessing an event that brings such happiness to young people in our community that I feel compelled to say thank you publicly.”