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Thornhill Volunteer Fire Department celebrates 50 years

Honoring 50 years of service, the department celebrates veterans and eyes the future

On Sept. 23, the Thornhill Volunteer Fire Department commemorated its 50th anniversary with an open house, honouring both past and present members for their invaluable service to the community. The milestone event, hosted at the Thornhill Firehall, acknowledged firefighters who have dedicated years of their lives to public service, followed by a dinner at the Thornhill Pub.

Thornhill fire chief Rick Boehm expressed his excitement about the celebration, saying, “We were delighted to mark our 50th anniversary, joined by past and present members, dignitaries, elected officials, and politicians.”

During the event, the department recognized three members with 25 years of service awards, a significant provincial recognition accompanied by medals. The recipients of these long service awards were Gregory Broadway, Shawn Giesbrecht, and Trevor Darby.

Boehm highlighted the significance of these awards, saying, “For our long-serving members, it’s been a long road to get that medal, and many have made substantial contributions to the community. Their dedication is indispensable.”

In addition, four members, Murray Hamer, Dawn Rutledge, Gerald Prosser, and Boehm received their 20 years of service awards and medals. “Twenty and 25 years of service is a substantial commitment, and they’re still passionate about their roles,” said Boehm of the recipients.

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The event also celebrated recruits who completed their first year of service and training. These newer members received personal identification, formal attire, and bags to mark their identity within the community.

Reflecting on the years of service, Boehm observed, “When you receive that award and reflect back to when you started, it’s incredible to think, ‘How did time fly so fast?’ The life skills, camaraderie, and lessons gained not only enrich their professional lives but also positively impact their personal and family lives.”

Beyond celebrating past achievements, Boehm spoke about the department’s future, outlining the upcoming projects aimed at improving the fire service’s infrastructure and capacity. With two fire halls, Lakelse Lake and North Terrace, ready for construction work in the coming year, and anticipated improvements to the main hall in Thornhill in the next two to three years, the department is poised for growth.

Moving forward, with our fleet updated, we’re not only providing better services with advanced equipment but also planning to refurbish our aging facilities to meet contemporary needs,” he said.

Plans are made with the community’s potential growth and governance changes in mind, ensuring that the Thornhill Volunteer Fire Department is prepared to adapt to any future challenges.

“We’re ready for the challenges ahead, and I’m personally looking forward to learning new things as we plan for the next 50 to 100 years,” said Boehm.

Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.

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