March 20, 2021 Director of Emergency Management for the Summer Villages of Pigeon Lake, Clinton Boyda, was proud to present the Outstanding Service Award to Chief Wayne Benson with South Pigeon Lake Fire.
Chief Benson started firefighting in 1974 in Oyen, Alta., and as of September 2020 has served 45 years as a firefighter. Benson and his family moved to Mulhurst in 1998 where he joined the local fire department and was promoted from firefighter to Deputy Fire Chief and Training officer in just two months.
In the fall of 2014 Benson joined the South Pigeon Lake Fire Department as a Training officer.
When Benson first moved to the County of Wetaskiwin, County Fire Departments did not respond to motor vehicle accidents. Benson worked with Fire Chief Stew Raven to purchase Jaws of Life and get County approval for vehicle extraction training. County firefighters now respond to medical first responses including motor vehicle accidents, fire search and rescue for snowmobilers and ATV/ motorbikes, water distress calls, and residential and urban fire smart programs in addition to fires that fall in their coverage area.
Throughout his time as a County firefighter Benson has also encouraged public relations and fundraising in the County to help purchase additional fire apparatus.
Benson has worked diligently in fire safety awareness with the public and the training of firefighters to help them face any calls they may face.
Benson has been instrumental to the emergency response capabilities around the lake and in the County including working with CAOs to ensure they have the best fire coverage. Benson has also supported the creation of a Disaster Preparedness organization, and several projects to increase firefighter moral, recruitment, and mental health.
One of Wayne’s greatest accomplishments has been water safety, which he has worked endlessly to initiate, promote, organize, and train for.