Youngstown veteran firefighter recognized

Youngstown firefighter Ernie Ruppert, left, laughs along with Special Areas Fire Chief Glen Durand, right, as he holds his Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal and paperwork on Mon. Nov. 2 for his 30+ years on the volunteer department. ECA Review/T.Huxley
Written by Terri Huxley

Youngstown firefighter Ernie Ruppert, left, laughs along with Special Areas Fire Chief Glen Durand, right, as he holds his Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal and paperwork on Mon. Nov. 2 for his 30+ years on the volunteer department. ECA Review/T.Huxley

Youngstown village council started with some positivity as Glen Durand, Special Areas fire chief, came to council to present a high-standing medal.

Ernie Ruppert, a 30+ year firefighter of the Youngstown Fire Department was presented with the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal.

Key criteria for the award includes at least 20 years of service, good conduct, going above the call of duty and being a role model.

“It’s essentially going above the call of duty,” said Durand. “Not just responding to a fire but doing other stuff like what you do: Coming there [to the fire department] after, clean the trucks, going through them, getting a hold of me for whatever needs to be fixed, or whatever the case may be. 

“But it’s not just showing up to a fire and then leaving. It’s all the other stuff behind in the background.”

“One of the other qualities about it is being a role model – a role model to other firefighters like a mentor. Having firefighters coming in, showing them what to do.”

Nominee applications are examined and approved by a couple of committees before being seen and approved by the Governor General herself, Julie Payette.

This recognition is open to all Canadian fire departments.

In the case of Ruppert, the village nominated the experienced firefighter for all of his efforts over the years.

At the regular meeting on Mon. Nov. 2, Ruppert and his wife attended to receive the medal.

Under normal circumstances, the annual Fire Chief’s convention would have been the place to get the medal but COVID-19 has stopped that from happening.

Coun. Ken Johnson mentioned that the village should pay for any of the couple’s travel expenses if this convention takes place which the rest of council agreed.

A smaller gathering may take place to present the medal in the future but nothing is set at this time.

Park gates for toddlers

During Public Works Foreman James Mabley’s report, he noted that a few people in town have been asking him about getting some gates for the park.

Parents are finding it hard to contain their toddlers which can lead to them going onto the road or nearby alleyway.

Councillors mentioned there were gates for the three entrances at one point. 

Council agreed to get three gates to accompany the entrances.

Special meeting

A special meeting took place on Oct. 14 to discuss a couple of important topics.

One mentioned was the MOST (Municipal Operating Support Transfer) Grant previously dismissed at the former meeting.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Emma Garlock found that there are some areas they can utilize the grant like assisting the community club and recovery of penalties as they reduced their regular 18 per cent rate down to 10 per cent.

Same with locally purchased hand sanitizer, user fees for recreation, a plexiglass screen for the library and more.

Council passed a motion to rescind their prior motion to not enter into an agreement for the grant. They instead passed a new motion to enter into the agreement.

Council also passed a revised version of their Local Authorities Pension Policy (LAPP).

Sewer agreement

Council has found it is time to update the 26-year-old sewer and lagoon agreement between the village and Special Areas.

In the current agreement, an old facility that no longer exists is still included.

Councillors agreed they would like to meet with Special Areas for renegotiations regarding maintenance and permissions to haul.

They asked to have a letter be sent to their lawyer to ‘get the ball rolling’.

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Te