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Council Commendation Wildfire Medal Program
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Council Commendation Wildfire Medal Program

The Council Commendation Wildfire Medal Program recognizes the exceptional service of members of our community during the first 100 hours of the 2016 Horse River Wildfire – including Firefighters, Law Enforcement personnel (RCMP, Bylaw and Sheriffs) and members of the public.

Take Transit on July 1

Take transit to the Council Commendation Wildfire Medal Ceremony at Shell Place.

In addition to the Medal Ceremony, many other events are scheduled in downtown Fort McMurray on July 1, including the Canada Day Parade. Residents are encouraged to take Transit or to plan ahead for parking options.

Urban Transit Service

On July 1, 2017, only routes 11, 15, 16 and 99 will be in operation. These routes will be operating on Sunday/holiday schedules, with extended and additional service through the evening. Visit the Transit page for schedules and details.

Rural Transit Service

Free rural transit service is available from the rural communities to take you to Shell Place in Fort McMurray to attend the medal ceremony.

Take free rural transit from the following communities on July 1 for the Medal Ceremony: Anzac, Conklin, Fort McKay, Gregoire Lake Estates, and Janvier.

Rural residents are required to register by calling Pulse at 780-743-7000. Deadline for registration: Thursday, June 29 at 8:30 a.m.

Thank you for your RSVP

Those who have been nominated for a medal were sent an RSVP in their email to let us know if they would be attending the medal ceremony on July 1. The RSVP period has now closed.

On July 1, 2017, the Council Commendation Wildfire Medals will be presented at a community event which will be held at Shell Place following the Canada Day Parade. This event is open to the public.

Nominees – Check your email for event details

On Friday, June 23, emails were sent to nominees with key event details. Please be sure to check your email for specific information to help plan for July 1.

Event date: Saturday, July 1
Required arrival time: 11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Where to arrive: East Entrance, Shell Place, 151 MacDonald Drive, Fort McMurray
Identification: Bring a piece of ID to facilitate the check-in process.

Entrance for nominees

Please enter via the Shell Place East Entrance, then proceed upstairs to the Grand Ballroom and complete the check-in process. Further directions will be provided upon your arrival and signage will be posted. Please note that medal recipients will be seated in an area separate from spectators.

Open to the public

All residents are invited to attend the recognition event and support those who have been nominated for the medal program. Family, friends, public spectators and nominators will sit in the identified general public seating area on the main level. Please note that spectators will be seated in an area separate from medal recipients

Ceremony start time

The medal ceremony starts at 1:30 p.m. at Shell Place. Please be sure to arrive a little early to find yourself a seat.

Entrance for the public: West Entrance of Shell Place at Gate 1, closest to the Box Office.

Family, friends, public spectators and nominators of recipients will sit in the identified general public seating area on the main level.

Parking

Parking is limited at MacDonald Island on July 1, and is only available on a first come, first served basis. Many activities are occurring on MacDonald Island for Canada Day. Please consider road closure information relating to the Canada Day Parade rmwb.ca/canadaday.

Transit service has been enhanced along Route 99 (MacDonald Island) to make it easier for travelling downtown on Canada Day.

Weather and dress

This ceremony is a formal event. It is recommended that you wear something to suit the occasion and the weather. This event will proceed rain or shine.

Photo opportunities

Stay after the ceremony to take photos inside the SMS Equipment Stadium at field level. Open from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., all nominees, family members, guests and general public spectators are welcome.

About the Council Commendation Wildfire Medal Program

On May 3, 2016, an out-of-control wildfire swept through the region and threatened residents across Wood Buffalo. While this wildfire changed the history of our region and the lives of many, it also brought together residents, businesses, industry and organizations from across the region and from all walks of life. Together you protected each other, evacuated to safety, and provided significant support to your community.

In recognition of the unprecedented cooperation, resourcefulness and heroism of those who took it upon themselves to participate in the first 100 hours of the wildfire, the Mayor and Council of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo wish to recognize those extraordinary individuals.

Award Categories

As a means of honouring all of the numerous people and groups, three award categories have been developed for the recognition program.

Firefighter Award for Service

This includes any local Firefighter or member of the following local fire departments, whose actions contributed to the direct fight or support of operations to defend the Municipality from the Horse River Fire during the first 100 hours. (from 1 p.m. May 3 to 5 p.m. May 7).

  • Fort McMurray Fire Department
  • Fort McKay Volunteer Fire Department
  • Saprae Creek Volunteer Fire Department
  • Anzac Volunteer Fire Department
  • Conklin Volunteer Fire Department
  • Fort Chipewyan Volunteer Fire Department
  • Syncrude Fire Department
  • Nexen Long Lake Fire Department
  • Suncor Fire Department
  • Shell Albian Sands Fire Department
  • CNRL Fire Department

Law Enforcement Award for Service

This includes any member of the RCMP, Sheriff or Bylaw groups whose actions contributed to the evacuation or direct support of the fire operations during the first 100 hours.

Achievement for Public Service

This includes Individuals from the public who have distinguished themselves by direct "hands on" participation in an act or operation of a humanitarian nature directed towards an individuals or groups of individuals during the first 100 hours of the wildfire.

Q&A: Council Commendation Wildfire Program

How will firefighters, RCMP, Bylaw and Sheriffs be recognized within the program?

These groups played a vital role during the Horse River Wildfire, and they will be recognized with medals. These groups do not need to be nominated, as the Municipality has tracked the participation of firefighters, law enforcement personnel and municipal employees within the first 100 hours of the 2016 Wildfire.

How and when will medals be presented?

On July 1, 2017, the Council Commendation Wildfire Medals will be presented at a community event which will be held at Shell Place following the Canada Day Parade. Nominees are encouraged to attend the ceremony and receive a medal of recognition for their efforts. See above for more specific information about the event. We hope to see you there.

How are nominees notified that they are receiving an award?

Those who have been nominated were sent an RSVP in their email for the recognition event to take place on July 1 at Shell Place. Additional emails were sent to confirm RSVP and provide event details to those planning to attend the ceremony.

How did this program originate?

The program originates from a motion made by Councillor Sheldon Germain on Aug. 2, 2016, to develop a Council Commendation Program. Councillor Germain proposed a program to recognize individuals for deeds or acts of service or valour that is outstanding, exceptional and beyond the expected normal call of duty.

The Council Commendation Wildfire Medal Program was also partly inspired from a proposal by Ryan Pitchers, Captain on the Fort McMurray Fire Department. Pitchers proposed a program to recognize first responders, municipal employees and members of the public for their extraordinary efforts during the first 100 hours of the Horse River Wildfire.

Have other communities run similar programs?

The Community of Slave Lake held a similar recognition program following the wildfire that affected their community. The Municipality has been working closely with representatives from Slave Lake to develop a program for our region.

Contact

For any questions or further information, please send an email to medal@rmwb.ca.

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