Mr. Speaker, I have to give a shout out to the women and men of the Hay River Fire Department. Since yesterday they’ve been working to contain a fire that flared up at the Hay River landfill, and for the last week they’ve been working to manage the fire as it burned underground. For the most part, all of the fire fights have other jobs and family responsibilities, so I’m sure many of them have had some long, tiring days over the past week. That’s why I figured this would be a good time to show some them some appreciation, and thank them for helping keep our entire region safe.

Mr. Speaker, we’re lucky in Hay River. For decades, the Hay River Fire Department has set a high bar when it comes to training and preparedness. As a resident, it feels great to know that if I’m ever in a situation where I need to call an ambulance or report a fire, that there’s a dedicated team ready to jump into action. I know that’s not something that every community has, so I’m thankful, and I don’t take it for granted.

In addition to responding to hundreds of calls each year, and spending thousands of hours fighting fires, providing emergency medical services in town and along 800 km of highway, and performing other emergency services such as the 24 hour flood in the spring, the members of the Hay River Fire department find plenty of time to contribute to the community in other ways.

Every year they’re at the Track and Field Championships manning the medical tent, taking care of athletes and spectators, and helping out with even in other ways. On New Year’s they treat the community to multiple fireworks displays. During the Christmas season they team up with the RCMP for the annual toy drive where they collect and deliver hundreds of toys for children. Throughout the year they hold events to teach children and the public about safety. Mr. Speaker, they do all this and more, and if I had more time I could go on.

Mr. Speaker, like I said they’ve been fighting a fire for a week now, so I know they’re busy and I’m sure they’re tired, and I just wanted to let them know that they’re appreciated, and I’d like the Assembly to join me in thanking them for all of their efforts.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.