Skip to content

Elk Point Firemen's Ball brings firefighters from across the region together

Even the fire truck was there at Elk Point Allied Arts on March 9 when Elk Point Fire Department hosted their first Firemen’s Ball since 2018.

ELK POINT – Even the fire truck was there at Elk Point Allied Arts on March 9 when Elk Point Fire Department hosted their first Firemen’s Ball since 2018.

Elk Point’s treasured antique fire engine and firefighters from six other communities were among the crowd who attended the event, and firefighter Robert Smith welcomed members of departments from St. Paul, Dewberry, Myrnam, Derwent, Mallaig and the County of Vermilion River and also called for applause for the emergency medical services, RCMP, Search and Rescue and Victim Services personnel in attendance.

He thanked the event’s numerous sponsors and the donors who had contributed live and silent auction items for the event, which will help to fund the purchase of new equipment for the department.

“With your continuing support we can better serve the community,” he said, before introducing County of St. Paul Reeve Glen Ockerman.

“This is why we do it, to have a safe community,” Ockerman said. “I really, really want to acknowledge the organizing committee for this event, it brings me pride. Our fire departments keep our communities safe and I’m glad to know we have all our bases covered.” 

Ockerman was elected to County council in 2004, “and I got on the fire committee with Robert Smith, Lyle Frisby and ‘Grandpa’ Ken Palamarek, who had 47 years of commitment. Now you have so many young people, that tells me the community is healthy, it tells me that the future of Elk Point and the County of St. Paul is strong.”

“We all have to celebrated the good work the men and women of Elk Point Fire Department do,” Town of Elk Point Coun. Jason Boorse said, adding that his father David was a member of the Ashmont Fire Department for 25 years and helped to get a fire hall built there, and his brother Chris took over their father’s role in 1993. “Between the two, that’s 55 years. I’ve never been able to volunteer myself, I’ve never worked in the same community I lived in, and I’m glad to be part of the fire board now. At the first meeting, Darrell Younghans put my name forward to be chair.

“We’re all here to do what we can to fully support the fire department and whatever endeavours they have. The cost of fire supplies has skyrocketed. As a prime example, the Town got ATCO to give the department a small grant this week. The good people here today will help to fill that gap, and it may save someone’s life. It’s all going to a great cause.”

Fire Chief Bryce Osinchuk has been in that position for just over a year, and called the Firemen’s Ball “a great fundraiser for us, and a great night to celebrate the commitment of our members. We haven’t had one since before COVID.” He thanked his committee, led by Danielle Fedirko, for all their efforts, and said the silent auction “looks much fuller than I thought.”

The fire chief had two presentations to make, the first going to Josh Bateman for five years of service and the second to Robert Smith, who has been with the department for 16 years. He offered thanks to the County of St. Paul and the Town of Elk Point who “always find a way to help us. We have two new apparatuses coming, and we hope to have one here by the end of May. Thanks to the dispatchers and to the neighbouring fire departments who are always there when their resources are needed. Thanks to the St. Paul department for sharing their practice nights and to Henry Thomson for his advice, and to our spouses for understanding the late nights of training and the middle of night calls. 

“I am extremely proud of all the members who attend the practices, calls and training. Thank you, thank you for making this community safe.”

Smith reminded everyone to check on their silent auction bids, before he wrapped up the speeches with a quote: “God created firemen so the police could have heroes too.”

About the Author: Vicki Brooker

Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks