Friday, October 21, 2016

Calgary Fire celebrates everyday heroes for going ‘Beyond the Call’

The Calgary Fire Department recognized local heroes for their contributions to the community with an annual awards luncheon on October 20. The Officer’s Mess Hall at Fort Calgary made a striking backdrop for presenting medals and certificates to emergency personnel and ordinary citizens whose extraordinary actions saved lives and properties.

Twenty-seven Calgarians from all walks of life were honoured for their quick thinking and decisive actions in medical emergencies, fires, avalanches and other hazardous incidents.

Fire Chief Steve Dongworth was joined on stage by Deputy Mayor Jim Stevenson and City Manager Jeff Fielding, to hand out awards for three levels of recognition:

  • Appreciation: recognizing individuals for providing basic first aid or an act of kindness to a victim at a CFD-attended emergency scene.
  • Recognition: acknowledging individuals for their significant effort to aid in a CFD-attended situation where citizens or property are in danger. Their actions often result in injuries being avoided or property being saved.
  • Commendation: recognizing individuals for proactive actions that save lives, even if it means risking personal injury, to ensure the safety of others. The recipient’s actions go well above and beyond expectations.

Calgary Fire Department Public Information Officer Carol Henke, who acted as the event’s Master of Ceremonies, noted that recipients represented a diverse cross-section of Calgary’s communities, which included young children, new Canadians and an off-duty firefighter. “Despite being so different, these recipients have one thing in common,” Henke said. “They all rose to the occasion and put the needs of others ahead of their own - something we can all be proud of.”

Dallas Kaquitts performing the Honour song
To close out the luncheon, Stoney Nakoda drummer Dallas Kaquitts performed the Honour song in a heartfelt display of appreciation.

Firefighter and Medal of Bravery recipient Benoit St. Pierre was also featured on the CBC’s morning show The Eyeopener to recount his experience saving a group of back country skiers from an avalanche.

Members of the public can nominate citizens, firefighters or other emergency responders for recognition by contacting 311. For more information on the Calgary Fire Department, please visit

Submitted by Irina Mazursky, Calgary Fire

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