The Martensville Fire Department and local RCMP joined forces to host the Protective Service Gala on Saturday, October 21st at North Ridge Community Centre in Martensville. This formal event was put on as a way to honour all Protective Services, the people that risk their lives to save others. The evening provided a rare opportunity for the protective services to spend time together outside of an emergency situation. “Typically, when we see one another, we are at an emergency scene, so it was nice to have a night where we could chat and enjoy each other’s company,” MFD Fire Chief Kurtis Dyck stated.
Members of various protective services branches including fire departments, police services, paramedics, military, and more were in attendance, all wearing their formal wear. In addition, members of the community attended to show their respect for the men and women that serve the community. Approximately 280 attendees enjoyed a delicious meal catered by Two Sisters Catering before hitting the dance floor to the music of The Gong Show. The 574 Air Cadets were on hand to volunteer their time to help with various needs throughout the evening.
A special presentation was made by Fire Chief Kurtis Dyck to Steve Smith, who is retiring and is the last remaining original member of the Martensville Fire Department. Smith was honoured for 40 years of service to the fire department. Dyck began his speech stating that the event was a time to say goodbye and honour Smith. “In 1977, Steve Smith was a part of a small group who saw the need for a Fire Department in our growing community. Over the next 40 years, the Fire Department evolved from a one truck, one bay fire hall to the well-equipped department it is today, with the help of Steve and other members like him,” Dyck said. He continued to say that Smith has been an “outstanding member, dedicating many hours of service to his community as a firefighter, first responder and mentor. It’s people like Steve who make our community a better place to live.
“I’m proud to be a member of the Martensville Fire Department and to see how far it has come today,” said Smith, who was then presented with a retro style MFD helmet as members of the MFD lined up to honour him. “Forty years of service is a huge commitment and it was nice to be able to show him the respect that he deserves for the dedication he has shown the fire department for the past 40 years,” stated Dyck.
Additionally, MFD Deputy Fire Chief Dean Broomen made mention of Dyck’s presentation that took place earlier this year from the Saskatchewan Lieutenant-Governor for his 25-year protective services medal.
The front of the room had a table that was adorned with helmets from the various branches of protective services, which Sergeant Chris Cisecki noted was set there to honour all of the members that have given their lives in the line of duty before a moment of silence was held. “Events like this give people of the community a chance to meet the members of the protective services in a social setting rather than during an emergency or in the case of police, during enforcement,” Cisecki said.
“I think the event was quite successful. We introduced some new things this year and had a huge outpouring of support from the community, which is greatly appreciated,” City of Martensville Emergency Measures Coordinator and event organizer Tracy Wilson-Gerwing stated. Some of the new additions to the event included a limited edition shot glass draw for a chance to win some incredible prizes and a wine pull with 52 bottles of wine available ranging in price from $10 to $60.”The absolute biggest thing is the community support. It means so much to the members of the fire department and the RCMP to see the community stand behind us and come together for this event,” Wilson-Gerwing added.
The organizing committee, which consisted of Wilson-Gerwing and MFD members; James Taylor and Mike Anweiler, Captain Bill Symons as well as Sgt. Cisecki and Judy Morris, who were the RCMP representatives, put in countless hours to ensure the event was successful. “We could not have done this event without the donations from businesses that we received, as well as the volunteers that stepped up to help keep the evening on track and run the ticket sales,” said Wilson-Gerwing.
The Martensville Neighborhood Watch stepped up to ensure people got home safe that night by offering free Saferides, with donations being accepted. “It was great to have the participation of the newest form of protective services in the community. Donations are going towards funding the startup needs of the group,” explained Cisecki.
Wilson-Gerwing wanted to note that if anyone won a prize, but did not get the original gift card, to contact her directly at (306) 380-6787 to receive your prize.
A total of the amount raised through the event will be announced at a later date, and all funds will go towards the purchase of equipment and fund educational programs. “It makes me feel proud of our community. We always get great support and it is greatly appreciated . The committee members put in a lot of work to make this event as successful as it was and I think all of us that attended are grateful to them for that,” added Dyck.
Note on featured image
Members of the local RCMP detachment. (Jocelyn Ottenbreit/MM)