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Council Commendation Wildfire Medal Program
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Council Commendation Wildfire Medal Program

The Council Commendation Wildfire Medal Program is a program which recognizes the exceptional service of our local 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.

Nominations: Public Service

Let us know who you think deserves Achievement for Public Service recognition for their role in the first 100 hours of the wildfire emergency.

[Nomination Period Ended]

The First 100 Hours: 1 p.m. May 3 to 5 p.m. May 7

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.

You Can Nominate Individuals for their Achievement in Public Service

We are looking to you to provide the names of individuals from the public who helped during the first 100 hours (1 p.m. May 3 to 5 p.m. May 7). Your help is needed to identify those individuals and nominate them for recognition. Nominations are open from April 27 to May 19, 2017.

Online nomination is easy. Please complete the online nomination form. We ask that you obtain the consent of the nominee, so that they are aware you are nominating them. There are a number of mandatory fields that must be completed on the form in order for a nomination to be successful.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or need further information, please send an email to

Questions and Answers: 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. More details will be provided closer to the event.

How will nominees be notified that they are receiving an award?

Shortly after the nomination process closes, nominees will receive confirmation of their nomination for award. Details related to the recognition event will be shared with nominees closer to the July 1 event.

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.

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