VIDEO: Lake Cowichan fire department celebrates long service

Bill Robertson, right, presents his 40-year ribbon and bar to Lake Cowichan Fire Chief Doug Knott on Nov. 4, 2019. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Bill Robertson, right, presents his 40-year ribbon and bar to Lake Cowichan Fire Chief Doug Knott on Nov. 4, 2019. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Lake Cowichan’s volunteer fire department includes a good percentage of young firefighters, unlike some departments that have found themselves strapped for new recruits. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Lake Cowichan’s volunteer fire department includes a good percentage of young firefighters, unlike some departments that have found themselves strapped for new recruits. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Tom Denninger, left, gets his 35-year-award from Lake Cowichan Fire Chief Doug Knott. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Tom Denninger, left, gets his 35-year-award from Lake Cowichan Fire Chief Doug Knott. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Chief Doug Knott, right, presents a 30-year-award to Lake Cowichan firefighter Steve Johnson. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Chief Doug Knott, right, presents a 30-year-award to Lake Cowichan firefighter Steve Johnson. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Firefighter Steve Vatcher, left, gets his award for 25 years of service from Lake Cowichan Fire Chief Doug Knott. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Firefighter Steve Vatcher, left, gets his award for 25 years of service from Lake Cowichan Fire Chief Doug Knott. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Lake Cowichan firefighter Ray Bourassa receives his 30-year-award from Chief Doug Knott. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Lake Cowichan firefighter Ray Bourassa receives his 30-year-award from Chief Doug Knott. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Ray Bourassa, left, who is retiring from the Lake Cowichan fire department after 30 years of service, receives a fun ‘going away present’ from fellow firefighter, Steve Johnson. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Ray Bourassa, left, who is retiring from the Lake Cowichan fire department after 30 years of service, receives a fun ‘going away present’ from fellow firefighter, Steve Johnson. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Ray Bourassa, left, gets a hug from Steve Johnson as he retires from the Lake Cowichan fire department. Both men joined up 30 years ago this year so it was a special goodbye for them. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Ray Bourassa, left, gets a hug from Steve Johnson as he retires from the Lake Cowichan fire department. Both men joined up 30 years ago this year so it was a special goodbye for them. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Members of Lake Cowichan Volunteer Fire Department had lots of reasons to celebrate on Monday, Nov. 4.

After all, it was the night they hand out their long-service awards.

But, there was some sadness, too, as they bid farewell to retiring firefighter, Ray Bourassa.

Fire chief Doug Knott received his 40-year ribbon and bar, and Tom Denniger received his award for 35 years in the department.

Steve Johnson was given his award for 30 years of service and Steve Vatcher was honoured for 25 years of service.

Finally, in an emotional moment, Johnson presented Bourassa with his 30-year award. As the two men joined in the same year, Johnson also got to give his friend two fun going-away presents, before the entire department gathered for a group picture.

As is plain in the group picture, there are now a good number of young firefighters in the Lake Cowichan group.

Asked about how this comes to be when departments in other communities are constantly talking about the difficulties of finding young recruits, both Knott and Vatcher said they were delighted with the situation, and pointed to the culture around Lake Cowichan’s fire department as an important factor in attracting young volunteers.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. [CDC]
Lake Cowichan daycare closes for 10 days due to COVID-19 exposure

A client at Creative Angels Daycare came in contact with someone who tested positive

(Pxhere)
Mill Bay nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

Cullen Ferguson has left the Cowichan Valley Capitals to play with the Aberdeen Wings of the NAHL. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Capitals say goodbye to Ferguson and Richter

The Caps traded another Union College commit away last week

Handwashing is one of the important COVID-19 precautions. (File photo)
Editorial: Time to knuckle down on COVID precautions

It would be foolish to think that we have not had any COVID cases in Cowichan until now

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns after searing report into workplace culture: reports

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

Abbotsford’s Skully White (left), who donated his kidney in December, has started a campaign to find other recipients and donors. The first candidate is retired police officer Gavin Quon. White owns and operates a hotdog stand, Lullys Food Experience, out of the Abbotsford Canadian Tire parking lot. (Facebook photo)
After donating his kidney, Abbotsford hotdog king starts donor campaign

Skully White donated his kidney to customer Tim Hiscock in December

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Most Read