Rockyford Fire Department celebrates 100 years of service
By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative ReporterHeadlines News anniversary fire department firefighters
April 21, 2023, Rockyford, Alta. – The Rockyford Fire Department celebrated its centennial year on April 15 and invited the local community to be a part of the occasion.
Deputy Fire Chief, Darcy Burke, who has been a firefighter with the department for more than 25 years, said it was pretty special to be able to participate in such a historic milestone.
“It is very exciting for the Rockyford Fire Department to be celebrating our centennial year. Feb. 5, 1923 is when the Rockyford Fire Brigade was organized,” he said. “We have seen throughout the many years since then, the department has transitioned to an outstanding and well-equipped, modern fire department, to protect the citizens of Rockyford and the surrounding area.”
The event consisted of a horse coupling competition between Rockyford and other local fire departments, a tour of the hall and trucks, and a vehicle extrication demonstration.
Rockyford Fire Department hosted the community largely in the morning, with the celebration stretching into the early afternoon for attendees to enjoy.
At the end of the day, a private supper and social was hosted at the Rockyford Community Centre to wrap up the celebration.
The Village of Rockyford has maintained hosting a fire department as a volunteer organization since its inception. The commitment from volunteer members consists of hundreds of training hours, as well as the knowledge that you could be called upon at a moment’s notice in order to respond to an emergency.
Burke said he feels there is an extra level of connection with the community, as department members do not participate out of strict obligation.
“There certainly is a connection there and there’s an ability for us to recognize some sympathetic appeal for the folks during their time of need and to offer that comfort,” he said. “I think one of the biggest things that inspires volunteers to step forward for a local fire department is the fact that they’re community members and they want to be able to help folks. I think at the end of the day it’s community commitment and the desire to help people in their time of need.”
Burke added he wanted to thank the local community for their continued support of the Rockyford Fire Department over the past 100 years, which greatly contributes to the purchase of equipment and training of new members.
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