On April 2nd, the St. Alban’s Volunteer Fire Department held their 33rd annual Anniversary Gala at the St. Alban’s Lion’s Community Center. The evening began with Conrad Collier welcoming everyone in attendance, introducing the head table and saying grace.
Mr. Collier also informed the guests that Fire Chief Frank Collier and firefighters Gary Framp and Simon Collier were not in attendance due to a call that came through prior to the banquet from Search and Rescue.
A Search and Rescue helicopter from Gander was also dispatched to the area to find the source of an EPIRB distress signal.
An EPIRB is an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon installed on vessels to alert Coast Guard and Search and Rescue of vessels in distress. Through the combined efforts of Search and Rescue tracking and ground assistance from the St. Alban’s Fire Department members, the device was located and deactivated.
“To prevent false alarms such as this, the Canadian Coast Guard Search & Rescue recommends that EPIRBS be disposed of in a proper manner. To properly dispose of an EPIRB the battery should be removed and the circuit board broken in half,” stated Kevin Barnes. (Regional Supervisor Maritime Search & Rescue/Canadian Coast Guard (NL Region) The beacon should also be de- registered by contacting the Canadian Beacon Registry at www.canadianbeaconregistry.forces.gc.ca.
The Hon. Judy Foote, M.P. for Random-Burin-St. Georges, and St. Alban’s Mayor Rodney Kendall were the guest speakers for this event.
Ms. Foote said, “Of all the events I am invited to attend, the Fireman’s Banquet is one where I try very hard to make. I think it is very important for firemen to realize how important they are and express thanks in what they do for us.
“The risk they take when they are called out and not knowing what they may face is just amazing. They do it because they want to contribute without even hesitating. This is a very selfless act so that we can be safe, and I believe it needs to be acknowledged. Attending this gala tonight gives me a chance to say a special thank you on behalf of the Parliament of Canada.”
Mayor Rodney Kendall expressed how important our local volunteer Fire Department is and how they risk their lives to perform tasks that a lot of people are not capable of doing. On behalf of the town, he expressed how grateful council is to have such a devoted group to be able to be called upon when needed.
MHA Tracey Perry was unable to attend because of the Progressive Conservative Leadership Convention in St. John’s. She did however send along her congratulations on a successful year and said that she is looking forward to participating in the Telethon in May.
Fred Sheppard, Assistant Chief, presented plaques on behalf of the fire department to the St. Alban’s Lion’s Club, Royal Canadian Legion Br. 53, St. Alban’s Lioness Club, Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary, St. Alban’s Recreation and the St. Alban’s Firettes as a token of appreciation for their continued support of the Fire Department.
The Fire Department has scheduled its annual telethon for May 7th and this year will be going live on the Internet as well as the usual community channel access. Anyone and everyone from around the world will have access to this event.