Monday, January 22, 2018 was a special day for more than 20 members of the Drumheller, Rosedale and East Coulee Fire Halls.
They were recipients of the federal Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal and the Alberta Emergency Services Medal.
"It's kind of a nice recognition for the guys that put in all their time and get up at four in the morning when it's 40 below to fight a fire," responded Fire Chief Bruce Wade.
The awards recognized years of service with the Drumheller Fire Department, with a couple of them recording more than 40 years.
"We don't really get a big turnaround in our Drumheller Hall, for example," noted Wade. "I've got 30 guys: the average years of service is probably 15-16 years for an average."
Wade himself will mark 40 years as a firefighter in 2019. However, he admits it couldn't happen without the support of family and others.
"Not every employer would be happy to have somebody take off at the drop of a hat and not know how long they're going to be," he argued. "If it's in the middle of the night and the guys are fighting fire all night, lots of times they're still committed enough to go back to work the following day."
Monday's medals were presented by Battle River-Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson and Drumheller-Stettler MLA Rick Strankman, along with Alberta Fire Comissioner Kevin Jess, Mayor Heather Colberg and Director of Protective Services Greg Peters.

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