A member of the Sylvan Lake Fire Department since 1994, Fire Chief Cliff Brausen was awarded a 20-year exemplary service medal during the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association Conference and Trade Show in Red Deer last month.
Brausen, who’s served as fire chief since 2005, described the milestone recognition as a “great honour.”
“Twenty years is a long time,” he said. “It’s great to have served all my 20 years here in Sylvan Lake.”
Throughout his career, Brausen has responded to between 2,000 and 3,000 emergencies. But being recognized for exemplary service means more than simply responding to emergencies, he feels — it means going over and above to help the community.
“(It means) being committed to your department and community, and showing that extra initiative that it takes to get the job done,” he said. “We do fire prevention talks and we go to the schools and do presentations — we get involved in the community.”
Brausen said going over and beyond also means taking extra initiative to help train new members on proper firefighting skills.
“You have to put that extra time in, especially when you have a lot of newer members,” Brausen said. “You have to take them under your wing and show them the ropes and the proper way of doing things and what we mean as a department to the community.”
Brausen said being able to help people in the community and surrounding area is one of the most motivating parts of his job. But he also greatly enjoys working with the department’s 32 members, and said he appreciates having the opportunity to alongside such a good group of people.
“We have an outstanding membership here,” Brausen said. “They are a lot of fun to work with and they get the job done. I’ve made some great friends with the firefighters and their families. It’s great camaraderie.”