Twenty years of service to the community was marked when firefighters, friends and family gathered to honour Fire Chief Cliff Brausen, on accomplishing the milestone Saturday.
The festivities were a little late getting started when Brausen and Deputy Fire Chief Steve Scanland got diverted by the Kraft Hockeyville parade and had to reach the Legion via 46th Street.
But firefighters stood patiently, lined up beside two fire engines which were parked in a V-formation in front of the Legion door. The event certainly caught Brausen by surprise, his emotion showing as he walked along the row of firefighters shaking everyone’s hand.
Inside several presentations took place.
Mayor Sean McIntyre praised Brausen’s “20 years of faithful service” to the Sylvan Lake Fire Department.
“When you think of important jobs, you scarcely think of one more important in keeping our community from peril,” he said. “To be served by a single person for this length of time is certainly significant.”
McIntyre added a little humour, stating, “I can’t believe you missed your own parade”.
He added, “sincere appreciation for your service, we’re sincerely grateful, thank you for all you do and will do.”
Family and friends were the next to make a presentation, giving Brausen a mounted firefighters hat.
Royal Canadian Legion President Steve Dills presented a donation to the department from money raised through the Legion’s gaming activities.
Then firefighters made the final presentation of the afternoon. Training Officer David Spencer outlined Brausen’s history before he was presented with a mounted firefighter’s axe. He was surrounded by members of the department who individually congratulated their chief.
Cliff Brausen joined the Sylvan Lake Fire Department in March 1994. He was appointed volunteer deputy chief in Dec. 1999, volunteer fire chief in Sept. 2000, and then in April 2005 became the town’s first ‘career fire chief’.
Over the past 20 years, Brausen has attended approximately 2,000 incidents for a total of approximately 2,500 incident hours, said Spencer. He also put in over 4,000 hours of volunteer time over and above that.
During the same period he completed National Fire Protection Association education courses to earn designations as a professional firefighter, professional inspector, professional investigator, professional instructor and industrial fire brigade leader, totalling 1,360 hours.
Spencer concluded, “we as the membership are very happy to have Cliff as our leader”.
Brausen received a standing ovation after thanking firefighters, his family and friends.
The afternoon ended with a slide show of Brausen and his firefighting activity over the past 20 years.