HAMILTON – Some of Six Nations’ most exemplary community workers were honoured during the Third Annual Six Nations Fire Fighters Gala last week on November 11.
With crystal chandeliers, golden axes and attendants dressed to the nines at Carmen’s Banquet Centre in Hamilton, the venue was a sight to behold as funds were raised to help out one of the most important sectors of emergency services within the Six Nations community.
“Every supportive measure that’s put in place for us is greatly appreciated whether it’s $10 or $20, or even a firm shake of the hand with some advice. And there are some people that have gone above and beyond,” said Fire Chief Matthew Miller.
He recognized those that helped in the building of the Fire and Emergency Services Head Quarters, the donation of breathing apparatus units, and the aerial fire truck — as none of them would have been possible without their significant contributions.
“I can’t even put into words how greatly appreciated it is,” he said.
He then shared that during his first six months as Fire Chief, he was visited by a woman that brought an original article from the Hamilton Spectator from 1966 — the same year that the Six Nations Fire and Emergency Services began.
“That article at first was upsetting to understand that we were losing entire families in our community, nine people at a time at the start of fire rescue,” he said. “To see where we’re at today, that news article still sits in my office right next to my computer so that I can see it on a regular basis and utilize it as motivation to keep striving and pushing forward to become better, and do what we need to do to have a safe community.”
The same type of motivation is what helps to propel the services to improve even more.
Congratulations to the graduating firefighters and congratulations to those that took home a Golden Axe award including: the William Chancy Johnson Award went to William Chancy Johnson, the Howard VanEvery Exemplary Service Award went to Crystal Farmer, the Marion “Babs” Hill Award of Dedication went to Captain Martin McNaughton, the “Rusty” Russell Isaacs Award of Communication went to “Rusty” Russell Isaacs, and Stations 1, 2, 3, and 4 each received an Award of Appreciation.