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REPORTING · 16th June 2011
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council started their meeting on June 6th with a special presentation to members of the Kitimat Fire Department. Mayor Joanne Monaghan got up and presented the service awards.

First up was Captain Mike Bovingdon who received a 20 year service award. He began in 1989. Bovington is a member of the rescue team, auto extraction team, coordinator for the risk watch program the schools and is in charge of Ambulance equipment and inventory. He also works with youth sports.

Richard Thompson received a 25 year service award. He has received numerous thank you cards for going above and beyond what is required of him. Monaghan shared several stories of the lives Thompson has saved.

Captain Doug Basset received a 25 year service award. He began in 1984. He is the leader of the rescue team. Monaghan told the story of a hiker who had been extracted from Hirsch Creek Canyon who would have been a paraplegic without the assessment the team gave him.

Captain Alex Dobri received his 25 year award. He has worked for the Fire Department for 28 years. He is the live burn instructor and has served the community well as both a fire fighter and a paramedic.

Captain Mark Zielinski was given an award for 30 years after serving for 34 years on the Fire Department. He began in 1977 and his attendance and performance records have been exemplary. He brought home gold medals from the Fire and Police games in 1988. Zielinski attended a 16 year old boy with a heart attack, reviving the child as well as being the first in the fire department to use the defibrillator.

The final recipient was Fire Chief John Klie. Monaghan presented him with a 35 year service award. Klie has never been disciplined and his performance is above average. He has received countless thanks for his work, is respected by the fire and ambulance service and sets a good example for younger members.

Monaghan added she is sorry to announce Klie’s retirement at the end of the month although he will be taking his experience to the City of Terrace. She wished him all the best.

All of the firefighters were recognized for being active members of the community, both within the Fire Department and in their spare time.