Whether it is firefighters, police or paramedics or first responders, they all have one thing in common.

It is their compassion for others and their ability to step up in an emergency to help, said Souris Fire Chief Colin LaVie in his address to the more than 100 people who gathered for the recent annual Souris Firefighters Appreciation Dinner hosted by the town.

“It is one big brotherhood when we are all on scene,” Mr LaVie said.

Mutual aid from surrounding departments is also a big part of providing the best possible service to everyone. That is the reason representatives from those departments are always included in the annual event.

Mr LaVie said without the financial support of the town the fire department, which has been in existence since 1955, couldn’t provide the professional service it does.

This past year the department responded to 86 calls for service, 42 inside the town and 42 in rural areas.

Mr LaVie credits awareness and education as the main reason the trend of actual fire calls is going down, but responding to 13 motor vehicle accidents is still a worrisome statistic.

This year’s Volunteer Firefighter of the Year award was presented to Greg Jay.

“It does mean a lot coming from my peers,” Mr Jay, who has been with the department for 13 years, said.

“We have a lot of great firefighters and everyone is deserving of this award.”

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