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Robin Brett named 2020 firefighter of the year

Brett has served on the Town of Westlock department for the last seven years
WES - Brett award IMG-9656
Robin Brett (centre) has been named 2020 Westlock Fire Department Firefighter of the Year. Joining him for the celebration, which preceded the June 13 town council meeting, were mayor Ralph Leriger (left) and chief Stuart Koflick.

WESTLOCK – Robin Brett, a volunteer firefighter with the Westlock Fire Department who rarely misses practice and is one of the organization’s most “dependable and valued” has been named the 2020 Firefighter of the Year.

Brett, who served on town council for nine years from 2004 to 2013 and has been a firefighter for the past seven, received the award at a special ceremony at the start of the town council’s regular June 13 meeting, an event that included a handful of firefighters, as well as his wife Amie. 

Chief Stuart Koflick, who in a follow-up interview called Brett one of the department’s best who’s always willing to lend a hand, said while the award is not for heroism it is meant to recognize a firefighter “who best exemplifies the positive characteristics of a member of the fire service and who has a notable record of service and achievements.” Award nominees, Koflick continued, are evaluated with special attention to dedication, loyalty, productivity and professionalism.

“Robin has continued to be a very dependable and valued member of the Westlock Fire Department. He rarely misses practice, maintains a high level of responses to calls and participates regularly in volunteering opportunities on behalf of the department,” reads Koflick’s presentation. “Simply put, he loves to belong to the organization. Robin has always been a reliable firefighter on the fire ground. The experience he is obtaining is reflective in his fire ground ability and confidence. With that knowledge, Robin handles calls as needed and interacts with every member of the public with high professionalism that is expected of each member on the department.”

Brett in turn thanked council and administration for its support of the department, while also acknowledging the men and women he serves with.

“I want to thank my fellow firefighter brothers and sisters that deemed me worthy of this award and I guess also to take the opportunity to also thank town council. We really appreciate the amount of support that you give us and the department,” said Brett to a round of applause.

Mayor Ralph Leriger thanked not only Brett for his dedication, but the entire volunteer department. The last firefighter of the year was Joanne Plamondon who received the 2019 award in May 2021.

“I’ve said over and over and over again, it’s a very different kind of volunteerism — it’s not like coaching a team or being a member of service club. It’s a huge commitment and we certainly appreciate your commitment to it,” said Leriger.

George Blais,

George Blais

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