Saugeen Shores showed its appreciation for the community’s first responders at a recent barbeque held at the Southampton Fire Station.
Hosted by the Chantry Island Cham-bettes, Southampton Rotary and Southampton Residents Association, the BBQ was a community event that saw entire families come out in support.
Many members of the Saugeen Shores Police Services and Firefighters as well as Emergency Services (EMS) also attended the first-ever event held in appreciation of their service.
“In a smaller community like this,” said Vice-Deputy Mayor Diane Huber, “first responders are first on the scene and often know the people involved or their families and that’s tough. There is stress involved afterwards and, therefore, on behalf of the Mayor and every single member of Council, we very much appreciate the work that first responders do, from our police and fire fighters to paramedics.”
Although MPP Lisa Thompson had planned on attending the event, she had to send her regrets. “I am truly sorry I missed this appreciation event because I have the greatest respect and admiration for all of our first responders. The emergency services you provide cannot be understated and the work you do is incredible. Your dedication to your work deserves our appreciation every day and I want to send a special shout out to our many volunteer fire departments. Their dedication and sacrifice is truly remarkable and every community should applaud their commitment. We should also include the families of the first responders who also make sacrifices and who, first responders say, they could not do their jobs without them. Thank you for being there when we need you the most.” Pat O’Connor, Constituency Manager for MP Ben Lobb, also brought greetings from Lobb to the event. “Ben cares very much for all the first responders and their families in Huron Bruce.”
Police Chief Mike Bellai thanked everyone and said, “The way everyone in this community works together is really something. While you are here to support us, we also want to thank you the community for the support that you as citizens show us.”
Mayor Mike Smith alluded to the fact that being a first responder is often difficult in a small community. “We are very grateful for what you do to make Saugeen Shores a safer and better place to live.”
Fire Chief Phil Eagleson said that Saugeen Shores Fire Department has not had to hire anyone in 10 years, an indication of the dedication and commitment of the volunteers. “We have 48 volunteer firefighters and their dedication and commitment to the community is second to none. September 11th was National Service Day and this event is about paying tribute to our first responders.”