The annual Fireman’s Banquet was held this past weekend, with one local firefighter being honoured for his long-standing service to the region.
Sr. Captain David Burke, has served on the Kindersley Fire Department for 41 years earning him the Fire Services Exemplary Medal 2nd Bar for 40 years of exemplary service to public safety in Canada, Burke is just one of four members of Kindersley Fire to receive the award.
Burke’s lengthy firefighting career all started when he was on a sales call for his job and one of his clients proclaimed, “Well, now you’re married and have kids, it’s time to get involved with the community,” as he pulled out the black and yellow firefighters jacket from behind his desk and said, “we meet tonight, see you there”. Burke showed up, initially to the meeting, but then for the next 41 years, showed up for his community, the region and his follow firefighters.
Sr. Captain Burke stated that he tells the younger generation that joins the department, “Your life will forever change,” adding that being a firefighter, your perspective changes, your care and concern not only for your loved ones changes, but also those you share your community with.
During the banquet, he was also presented with a commemorative helmet for his years of service. Depicted on the helmet were two calls that struck close to home for Burke. The double house fire on West Road and the Exhibition Stadium fire of 2010.
Although he knew the helmet was coming, those behind the scenes were able to pull out a surprise or two. On the back of the helmet two poppies and an umpire mask, representing the Legion and baseball, his two other hobbies he is passionate about and although he officially retired as an umpire last year, Burke said he will now be a dedicated fan to the sport.
It is well known that firefighters at times, risk it all for the well being and safety of others in the region, however, Burke proclaimed that it wouldn’t be possible to do any of it without the support and love from his family.
Sr. Captain Burke was not the only member recognized throughout the evening; Fire Chief Ron Hope, retired Deputy Chief Rod Stevens, Deputy Chief Jeff Soveran, firefighter Myles Perrin, firefighter Wayne Bleile and Julie Payatte, all received recognition for their dedication and excellence.