It’s a rare accomplishment to be in the volunteer fire services for a long period of time, according to Highlands Fire Chief Dean Ford, but this past week Stew Bender was recognized for two decades of service.
On Tuesday, Bender received the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal for serving the Highlands Fire Department and community for 20 years. Bender was awarded the medal by the Chancellery of Honours in Ottawa on behalf of the Governor General of Canada.
“I’ve been with [Bender] the entire time, he’s an absolute pleasure to have around the department,” Ford said. “He was a mentor to a lot of the younger members and new recruits…he’s transferred his knowledge to them.”
Bender served as a lieutenant, senior driving instructor and mentor in his time with the fire department.
In a speech, Highlands Mayor Ken Williams said Bender demonstrated good conduct, industry and efficiency in his time serving the Highlands community.
“We truly appreciate the knowledge and commitment to the fire services that he leaves with the members who have had the pleasure of working with [Bender] over his 20 years in the department,” Williams said.