MAIN PHOTO: Hants East MLA John A. MacDonald presents Milford firefighter Chase Brown with the department’s Firefighter of the Year award at their 80th anniversary banquet. (Healey photo)

MILFORD: Long time service members of Milford & District Volunteer Fire department were recognized during the department’s 80th anniversary banquet, held to conclude the day of celebrating the milestone occasion on June 18.

Hants East MLA John A. MacDonald; Kings-Hants MP Kody Blois; and Eldon Hebb, the Municipality of East Hants Councillor for the Milford/Hardwood Lands area were on hand to present Certificates of Recognition to the firefighters recognized.

All three spoke about what volunteer firefighters mean to the Milford and area community. MacDonald also spoke about those left at home when the pager goes off to man the family chores, the firefighters significant other.

MP Koy Blois and Milford firefighter Nikki Moxsom.
MEH Milford/Hardwood Lands councillor Eldon Hebb. (Healey photo)

Receiving department awards as Firefighter of the Year was Chase Brown.

Named Officer of the Year was Captain Ken Moxsom.

Botch of the Year—a fun award given to a firefighter with a non-serious memorable mistake—went to Firefighter Kevin MacLellan. He accidentally released water from the tanker while inside the hall.

Given service awards were:

Five years of service – Firefighters Brad Marcus and Andy Moxsom.

10 years of service – Deputy Chief Rod MacLeod; Firefighter Kyle MacLellan; and Captain Ken Moxsom.

15 years of service – Lt. Josh Wagner.

 Captain Ken Moxsom said not only does a fire department rely on its members and their families; our Mutual Aid Departments play an extensive role in our success.

“East Hants is blessed to have such a supportive and professional Mutual Aid group of Departments with Firefighters that always step up to support each other wherever, whenever,’ he said. “We were honored to have the departments in our Mutual Aid group represented at our banquet and share in celebrating our 80th Anniversary.”

He was asked with 80 years down, what’s the aim for the next 20 years to hit that 100th anniversary mark.

“Short term always sees us looking for new recruits to join us and help the department grow and thrive,” said Moxsom. “The next five years will see the department looking into replacing our old but extremely reliable engine.

“Long Term, with the Chiefs guidance, we will continue to steer the department in the exact same direction towards success that Chief Ralph Taylor and the first members did back in 1942.”

Past Milford Fire chief Ralph Wardrope speaks to the crowd at the department’s 80th anniversary. (Healey photo)

Past fire chief Ralph Wardrope, who held that position from 1985 to 2017, gave a speech to the members and fellow firefighters from neighbouring departments in attendance. He said firefighting has its rewards, although its certainly not in the monetary sense.

“If you look at the community today, it’s not the same as it was back then (late 40s early 50s),” he said. There are some things that never change, and that’s the camaraderie of the fire service.

“It doesn’t matter what age you are if you’re a member of that group. When the pager goes off, everybody responds. It doesn’t matter your age, everyone has a job to do, and then afterwards when we’re cleaning up there’s a lot of talking going on.”

The banquet included a delicious roast beef meal prepared by volunteers from St. James Anglican Church in Shubenacadie.