The Regional District of Nanaimo is looking at establishing a policy for recognition of volunteer firefighters service under its jurisdiction.
Electoral Area C (Extension, Nanaimo Lakes, East Wellington, Pleasant Valley) director Charles Pinker made a notice of motion at the RDN regular board meeting Sept. 6.
Pinker, a volunteer firefighter for 40 years, related an incident in which a volunteer firefighter saved a woman’s life in a car incident last June. That prompted him to request the RDN for a letter in recognition of the firefighter’s heroic deed that night.
Pinker feels volunteer firefighters should be recognized for years of service, promotions and retirements and requested staff to draft a policy on this. All he wants is for a letter to be drafted and signed and presented to the volunteers.
District of Lantzville director Will Geselbracht, past chair of the now-defunct Nanoose Bay Fire Services Society, said volunteer firefighters provide an incredible service and play an important role in society. He suggested RDN staff and the new board, after the election, find a meaningful way to recognize volunteer firefighters.
Area E (Nanoose Bay) director Bob Rogers indicated that Nanoose Bay Volunteer Fire Department has a volunteer recognition program. He said it’s important for the RDN to keep on supporting it but must also make sure the region isn’t infringing on municipalities’ fire departments, which also have their own programs.
The RDN, prior to COVID-19, traditionally held annual volunteer appreciation nights for all volunteers in the regional district who were treated to dinner in recognition of their contributions to the community. RDN board chairperson Tyler Brown said that program may be revived again soon.
The RDN board unanimously endorsed Pinker’s motion.