INNISFAIL – After a wait of about two years, a pair of Innisfail’s finest have received their deserved long service awards.
On Oct. 16, Gary Leith, chief of the Innisfail Fire Department, made a presentation at town council’s Agenda & Priorities Meeting to acknowledge the long and distinguished firefighting careers of Clark Maldaner, the department’s current assistant deputy chief, and Capt. Kevin Fedorchuk.
Leith told council that both were eligible for Fire Services Exemplary Service Medals, which were created in 1985 to honour members of a recognized Canadian fire service who have completed 20 years of service, 10 of which have been served in the performance of duties involving potential risks, and were employed on or after the date of the medal’s creation.
“It is awarded for their services to public safety,” Leith told council.
He added Maldaner was being awarded for 30 years service but actually served 32 with the extra years noted due to the time it took to process his nomination.
Council was then told Fedorchuk had earned his medal for his 20 years of firefighting service, which was also noted to now being 22 due to the same reasons.
“Congratulations Clark and Kevin; job well done and we appreciate your service,” said Town of Innisfail Mayor Jean Barclay.
In a later interview with the Albertan Leith said both veteran firefighters have an EMS background with Maldaner being an advanced care paramedic. Leith said he currently works for Medavie Health Services West in Innisfail.
He said Fedorchuk has his primary care paramedic certification, and is also the Town of Innisfail’s health and safety coordinator.
As for their value to the Innisfail Fire Department, Leith said both stand out as respected role models for today’s younger firefighters.
“We're very privileged that we have members who have seniority and a lot of experience. When some of our newer firefighters come through they provide guidance to them and guidance on career paths,” said Leith. “We have some of our newer members who are walking in that path to become paramedics as well as firefighters on a full time basis, and not just in our community.”