Submitted                                After a harrowing 2018 fire season, an appreciation dinner for our local heroes the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department was held at Victory Hall on Saturday night.

Submitted After a harrowing 2018 fire season, an appreciation dinner for our local heroes the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department was held at Victory Hall on Saturday night.

Keremeos says thank you to local firefighters

After a harrowing 2018 fire season, an appreciation for our firefighters was held to say thank you

There was good food, dancing, and a whole lot of love shown to our local heroes – the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department.

On Saturday night, a large crowd gathered in Victory Hall to say thank-you to the local fire department who on top of regular duties faced both flooding and wildfires in 2018.

“It was a great night,” Tara Bowie, one of the organizer’s of the appreciation dinner said.

Bowie who is also editor of the Keremeos Review said during a short speech that in her role with the local media she has a “unique” relationship with the volunteer fire department.

“Part of my job is to chase sirens so I know this department goes out to a lot of things throughout the year from car accidents where they need to extricate someone from the vehicle, house fires, business fires and so much more.”

“We all know that we had a challenging and scary fire season with the Snowy Mountain fire. But I’m going to tell you a little story…,” she added.

“Yesterday Jody Bosscha, our fire chief, was going to try and drop off some decorations, hoses, boots, things like that, for the hall. I got a text later in the day from him with an apology that he couldn’t make it because the department was called out to a collision where they had to extricate someone, then they were called out again to help with a lift assist and then later they were called out to handle a bush fire. That’s what they do. That’s what it is to be on the department. You never know what is going to happen.”

Saturday night’s event was the combined effort of several different community groups and many individuals in the community. The evening included dinner, raffles, silent auction. Entertainment for the night was provided by DJ JD and the Organic Humans.

Members from Similkameen Country, the Royal Purple, the Keremeos-Cawston Sportsmen Association and the Keremeos Elks worked throughout the fall to organize the event.

“When the idea came up everyone just ran with it. I think that speaks volumes about how well-regarded and appreciated the fire department is in our community,” Bowie said. “This would not have been possible without the volunteer efforts of the service groups, individuals in the community, the students from SESS that worked hard cleaning dishes and helped with breakdown on Sunday. And I want to say a special thank you to all the businesses and individuals that donated prizes and all the people who attended. This really was the community coming together to say a long overdue thank you to our department.”

Proceeds from the event will go the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department Club. At press time the committee was still working on final tallies. The fire department club fundraises throughout the year to raise money for bursaries for their high school students, and for member-led initiatives such as fixing up the antique fire truck.

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