For a thirteenth year the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association conducted a National search to name one of Canada’s best volunteer firefighters based upon a prescribed criteria. The award is known as the “CVFSA Lifetime Achievement Award”©. The program is administered and managed by the CVFSA and the nomination process was open for a five month period. A committee of six volunteers from different regions of Canada reviewed the nominations and selected the winner.
The 2022 recipient is Retired Fire Chief Ronald Hope of the Rural Municipality of Kindersley No. 290, Saskatchewan. Ron joined the Kindersley Fire Department in 1981 at the age of 21.
He was young and eager to learn. As the years passed, he found many ways to pick up new skills and actively participate in moving the department forward. Ron earned his Professional Qualifications through the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress in the following areas, Fire Fighter Level 1 & 2, Haz-Mat Awareness & Operations, Fire Service Instructor Level 2, and a Certificate in Fire Ground Management from the Brandon Fire College as well as many other certifications during his career. In 1999, Ron accepted the position of Fire Chief, and he is now the longest-serving Fire Chief on record for the Kindersley Fire Department.
“I was very shocked when I received a phone call from Brian Starkell, President of the CVFSA, informing me that I had been selected for the 2022 Lifetime Achievement award. To have been selected from all the nominations across Canada is extremely humbling,” shared Ron Hope.
Being in the Fire service quickly became a way of life for Ron and his family. As a young single Dad, Ron raised his two boys alone while continuing to work full time and lead the Fire Department. He always had a back-up plan, someone that was able to help him with his boys while he attended a fire call, training session or meeting. At times there was no help available, and his boys would get front row seats from his personal vehicle on fire calls. Ron’s two boys developed a love for the fire service as well and both are active members in their communities. Mitchel is a Deputy Chief with Kindersley Fire and Lance is a Lieutenant with Outlook Fire.
Over the 41 years of service, Ron was a strong representative for Kindersley and the Fire Service. He served on the Muscular Dystrophy Committee (1982-1986), Rural Fire Secretary (1984-1988 and 1990-1997), Town Fire Secretary (1990-1996), Public Education Officer (1982-2000), a member of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Fire Fighters Association (SVFFA) since 1990, a Member of the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs (SAFC) and the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) since 1999. He served on the 911 Fire Advisory Strategy Team (FAST) from 2002 until 2012. He served as the Director of Region 7 for the SAFC (2007- 2014), 1st Vice President of SAFC (2008-2014), and served 2 years on the Provincial Public Safety Review Committee.
Ron was awarded the Canadian Fire Service Exemplary Medal in (2001) and the Canadian Exemplary Fire Service 1st Bar in 2011 and has been nominated for the 2nd Bar of the Canadian Fire Service Exemplary Medal. He was awarded the Saskatchewan Protective Service Medal in 2007, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, the SAFC Fire Chief Award of Merit in 2013, and the Canadian Volunteer Fire Service Association Medal with 1st Bar in 2018 and the 2nd Bar in 2021. He was also awarded the Department’s long-service medal in 2019.
The 2022 “CVFSA Lifetime Achievement Award”© program is supported by Duracell and First Alert.