General News

KFES praises its ‘family’ at annual recognition night

November 20, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Ken Atkinson was awarded with the prestigious Paul Jackson Award at the annual KFES appreciation dinner. Assistant Fire Chief James Arnold, Warren Jackson and Chief Jim Wall made the presentation.

By Mark Pavilons

King Township officials are often asked how they maintain one of the strongest and best trained volunteer forces in the province.
Looking around the room at Nobleton Lakes last week, the scene of the annual firefighters recognition night, the answer is obvious – full support from family, friends, politicians and the community.
It was a night for everyone to reflect on the honour and privilege to be part of this team, according to MC Doug Bolton. Expanding on Yoda’s famous saying – “Do or do not, there is no try,” – Bolton said they get a full-out effort from everyone on the force.
Mayor Steve Pellegrini said the evening is an opportunity to thank everyone, not just those in uniform. The significant others, spouses, parents and extended family members all support KFES members, that allow them to jump out of bed at a moment’s notice to answer the call.
King Township CAO Dan Kostopoulos said he’s impressed by the high quality of services that KFES delivers. The sense of community, pride and family spans generations of local firefighters.
Fire Chief Jim Wall said endless contributions of spouses and families help maintain the strength of the local force. The highly trained group of professionals provide a high level of local service, one that’s embraced at home and throughout the Township.
He said he was grateful for those on the home front who take up the slack.
“That support group may not don turnout gear and a helmet, ride a fast moving ladder truck that is responding to a reported fire, or perform medical intervention for someone that is in dire need of care.
“However, they do share our passion and love for the job. They are exposed to the stress that we experience on a daily basis, and unfortunately they become witness to the dark days that we would rather forget.
“Support like this cannot be measured and comes at a cost that others do not see. To the family members that make up this part of our fire team, I am grateful for your service.
“When a call comes in, you are that support team. You are the team that takes up the slack. You know the drill… you’re the moms, the dads, the extended family members that ensure our kids are ready for school; that they arrive at the Trisan Centre on time; you’re the ones that get the shopping, the dinner, and laundry done; you are the ones that get the kids ready for bed-time, you remain the forever constant. Disrupted dinner engagements, Christmas morning fires, late arrivals to a birthday party, and night-time calls … you have experienced it all!”
Wall also praised three members who received promotions – Alf Budweth, Kevin Ritson, and Marco Sacilotto. “Words cannot describe how thrilled I am to see the three of you promoted to your current positions. Kevin to District Chief, Alf to Assistant District Chief, and; Marco to the position of Captain.
“The key to being a successful skipper is to see the ship through the eyes of your crew.
“As the fire chief, the one signal I need to steadily send to our people is how important they are to us and to the residents of King Township.”
Deputy Chief James Arnold noted continual training programs keep KFES members at the highest skill level possible. And this is the envy of many other forces around the GTA. He outlined some of the long list of accomplishments over the past year, including 316 training classes.

Paul Jackson Award

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Paul Jackson Memorial Award. It’s given to a member who exemplifies values, dedication and commitment that Paul Jackson demonstrated throughout his career as a King Township Fire fighter, Captain, District Chief, and Training Officer.
Jackson passed away unexpectedly in June 2008 shortly after returning home from multiple emergency calls. Since 2009, KFES has awarded this prestigious award to many staff members.
Ken Atkinson has been a member of KFES for 25 years and has received both his 20-year federal medal and now his 25-year provincial medal.
He currently holds the rank of captain where he worked his way up from firefighter, lieutenant, now to the rank of officer.
He is also an alternate Senior Command Officer where he fills in for both the District Chief and Assistant District Chief in their absence.
He’s been a member of the training committee and has been tasked with managing driver training within the Nobleton Fire Station. Another critical assignment that he is responsible for is pumper operations (instructing new staff members).
He is self-employed and runs an extensive dairy farm operation just outside of Nobleton.
Chief Wall called him a “prince of a man. He is one of the “best!”

Service Awards

Firefighters were honored for their years of service.
Two members were praised for an amazing half century (50 years) of service.
Terry Phillipps and David Ball both drew a heartfelt round of applause for their dedication.
Ken Atkinson was honored for 25 years of service.
Reaching the 15-year mark were Andrea Ball and Joe Manzo.
King boasts many 10-year veterans, including Flavio Aloe, Harry Donatosian, David Duggan, Markus Evans, Mario Giovannone, Allan MacDonald, Brian Mitchell and Gaetano Nicolo.
Nairn Robertson and Miranda Hussey were given their 5-year awards.
Each station honoured members for their meritorious achievements, going above and beyond. They earned the Distinguished Service Awards.
Earning the honours for Station 34 was M. Hermanovsk.y
Dave Duggan was the recipient for Station 36.
Rob Bruno took the title for Station 38.



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