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PCES holds awards night

Tuesday, 19 March 2019. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

PCES holds awards night

Pincher Creek Emergency Services Chief David Cox, left, presents Deputy Chief Pat Neumann with the exemplary-service award at the annual awards ceremony. 
All photos courtesy Pincher Creek Emergency Services

Members of Pincher Creek Emergency Services gathered March 9 to celebrate their 2018 year of service.

Chief David Cox said it was another busy year with a record 1,537 ambulance calls (transfers and emergencies) and 92 fire rescues.

He said there were fewer fires and fewer rescues (motor vehicle collisions) but emphasized there was no less work.

Structure protection in the Castle area was provided primarily by Beaver Mines and Blood Tribe members during the Sage Creek fire, which burned in British Columbia, just beyond the Alberta border, throughout much of August.

Members were also prepared to evacuate the south end of the MD of Pincher Creek while the Boundary Creek fire burned out of control in late August.

Chief Cox noted that Emergency Medical Services has consistently provided advanced life support services to the community.

“Through the hard work of Richard, Jen, Kate and Sariah, we are recognized as an accredited service, a process of evaluation which is ongoing.”

He added that fire training has continued with great success. “We have great buy-in by members of all three stations and their enthusiasm is truly appreciated.”

The exemplary-service award is voted on by members and recognizes who they feel best goes above and beyond the everyday job.

Deputy Chief Pat Neumann was the 2018 recipient.

Chief Cox shared Pat’s history with PCES.

Pat started as a firefighter in 2002, when Kevin Wienberger was chief. “This was before Alberta Health Services and members were on call for ambulance as well as fire,” Chief Cox said. 

Pat took emergency medical responder training followed by emergency medical technician training as a primary-care paramedic.

“Pat became an officer under Kevin and moved up to deputy chief under Tom Harnos. The position was part time, originally, and became full time under my watch,” Chief Cox said.

“The deputy chief role become more defined and he became responsible for safety codes as well as fire training.”

The deputy chief is also responsible for fire investigation and Pat manages fire training for all three stations.

“He has always been dedicated to the fire service and is someone you can count on,” said Chief Cox.

“He is the guy that fills in when needed on fire, ambulance or as a supervisor. This is remarkable in that he has done this through his fire service career, whether paid, on call or as part of his position.

“A lot of time in our community this involves being available outside of work 24-7 — he does this around being a dedicated family person,” Chief Cox said. “Seventeen years and he is still that guy.”

Numerous other awards, both serious and light-spirited, were presented over the course of the evening.

Firefighters Ian Campbell, Tom Judd and Ken Olson; firefighters/primary-care paramedics Lucas Gurba, Shelby Stokke and Melissa Oudshoorn; and paramedics Miles Olson and Blake Olson all received five-year service awards.

20190318 PCES Awards Shelby Stokke David Cox
Shelby Stokke receives her five-year service award from Chief Cox.

20190318 PCES Awards Melissa Oudshoorn David Cox

Melissa Oudshoorn receives her five-year service award from Chief Cox.

Lt. Michael Whittington, firefighter/advance care paramedic Amanda Valin and paramedic Charles Schoening were awarded for 10 years of local service.

20190318 PCES Awards Michael Whittington David Cox
Lt. Michael Whittington receives his 10-year service award from Chief Cox.

Deputy chief of administration Tammy Jack, captain and firefighter Steve Oczkoswki, and primary-care paramedic Michael Meeks received 12-year provincial service awards.

20190318 PCES Awards Tammy Jack David Cox

Tammy Jacks receives her 12-year provincial service award from Chief Cox.

Firefighter Kerry Smyke was the lone recipient of the 15-year provincial award.

20190318 PCES Awards Kerry Smyke David Cox

Kerry Smyke receives his 15-year provincial service award from Chief Cox.

Dylan Yanke was lauded as rookie of the year for going above and beyond required service.

Ian Campbell was recognized for most call-out hours from the Pincher Creek Station with a total of 96.5 hours.

Aaron Layton had 48 hours from the Lundbreck station, with Dawn Heerschap close on his heels with 47.

20190318 PCES Awards Aaron Layton Pat Neumann

Aaron Layton receives his call-out award award from Deputy Chief Pat Neumann.

20190318 PCES Awards Dawn Heerschap Pat Neumann 3

Dawn Heerschap receives her call-out award award from Deputy Chief Pat Neumann.

Tom Judd put in 61.5 hours for the Beaver Mines station, with Steve Oczkowski not far behind with 47.

Serena Wallace was named Transfer Queen for handling 104 of 613 ambulance transfers throughout the year.

20190318 PCES Awards Serena Wallace Kate Feist David Cox

Serena Wallace accepts the transfer award from Kate Feist and Chief Cox.

Anne Molnar was presented a fun award for open invites and will never miss another PCES party.

20190318 PCES Awards Anne Molnar Kate Feist David Cox

Anne Molnar receives the open invitation award from Chief Cox and Kate Feist.

An administration recognition award was presented to Tammy Jack and Lori Schill to show appreciation for what they’ve done for the station in the past year.

20190318 PCES Awards Lori Schill Tammy Jack David Cox

Lori Schill, left, and Tammy Jack with Chief Cox.

The department has lost members and gained members, and Chief Cox hopes to gain more.

“This service could not be what it is without the support of the communities it serves.”