Steinbach firefighters Kurt Martens, Cindi Klassen-Krahn, and Trevor Schellenberg, have received the Governor General’s Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal. The medal honours firefighters who have completed 20 years of service, ten years of which have been served in the performance of duties involving potential risks.
Schellenberg joined first in 1991, followed in 1994 by Martens and Klassen-Krahn. When asked why they joined the fire department, no one reason seems to stand out for them, although Klassen-Krahn states, “Both my dad and brother were firefighters”.
Although their reasons for joining may not be obvious, the reason they have all stayed for more than 20 years is clear. “It’s family, the brotherhood” said Schellenberg, referring to his fellow firefighters. “We love the work,” added Martens. “We love helping the public when they need us the most,” said Klassen-Krahn.
All three agree that their time at the department has been worth missing many family gatherings, birthdays, dance classes and anniversaries to carry out their duties. “It’s a lot of commitment,” said Martens and Klassen-Krahn in unison, “it’s not for the faint at heart,” when asked what they would say to someone considering joining a fire department.
They have also seen a lot of change over the past two decades and are most pleased with Steinbach’s Firehall expansion, new aerial ladder, and full-time Fire Chief.
The three recipients were recognized and formally presented with the medals on Saturday at the fire departments annual Christmas banquet.