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 event where 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 and delivered it.
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 volunteeer firefighters provide an incredible service and play an important role in society. He suggested RDN staff and the new board, after the elections, to find a meaningful way of recognizing volunteer firefighters.
Area E (Nanoose Bay) director Bob Rogers indicated Nanoose Bay Volunteer Fire Department has a volunteer recognition program and continues to do so. He said it’s important for the RDN to keep on supporting it but must also make sure they’re not infringing on municipalities fire departments, which also have their own programs.
The RDN, prior to COVID-19, traditionally held annually volunteer appreciation nights for all volunteers in the regional district who were treated for dinner in recognition of their selfless contribution to the community. RDN board chair, Tyler Brown said it may be revived again soon.
The RDN board unanimously endorsed Pinker’s motion.