| Sep 06, 2007


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Feature Article - September 6, 2007 Citizen’s Appreciation Day at Ompah fire hall

by Jeff Green

Leo Ladouceur remembers how he joined the Ompah Fire Department. “I got a phone call from Barb Sproule on a Sunday. It was back in 1978. She called me because I had a four wheel drive truck and there was a fire to go to. That was the day I joined.”

As Leo Ladoucuer recalls, there really was no fire department in the 1970s. “If a fire couldn’t be put out with a pickup truck and some burlap, we either had to get the McDonalds Corners Department in or the place burned down,” Leo remembers.

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Earlier this summer there was a ceremony in Kingston where Leo and Stan Seitz were awarded with 25-year service medals and certificates, and last Saturday they were both on hand in Ompah to receive the recognition in their own back yard, at the Ompah fire hall where the two men have served for all these years.

Stan Seitz got involved in the department in 1982, around the time it was being formally established. The department managed to purchase a used truck, but had no place to keep it until the fire hall was established.

To this day, 90% of the department’s equipment has been purchased with dollars they raised themselves, and this was one of the reasons that the department sponsored a Citizens’ Appreciation Day last week, to thank the community for supporting the department.

It was also an opportunity to demonstrate some of the department’s capabilities, including a demonstration of vehicle extrication.

Also on display, among the older trucks and First Response vehicle that the department has at its disposal, were the new fire boat, ice water rescue equipment, ATV and trailer that were purchased with the $36,000 which the Ompah Snowmobile Club donated to the fire service when the club folded a couple of years ago.

The Ompah department is justly proud of the service that has been provided over the years by its Emergency First Response team, which was formed 21 years ago to support the Parham-based ambulance service.

In spite of all the other competing events on the sunny long weekend, the Citizens’ Appreciation Day was a great success.

(photo 1: members of the Ompah fire deparment - photo Stan Seitz (l) and Leo Ladouceur (r) with township Councillor Fred Perry (c))

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