On Otober 23rd the Hamilton Professional Fire Fighters Association held its 76th Annual Pensioners Banquet. Over 200 Retired and Active fire fighters honoured 23 new Retirees. Special guests included OPFFA District 4 V.P. Carmen Santoro, IAFF 13th District President Emeritus Bruce Carpentar and Thorold Fire Fighters President Rick Honsberger. Special recognition was given to our oldest Retiree Tom Keirny and Fred Engelbrecht.
Also at the Pensioners Banquet, the first Annual Walter Baumann Award was presented. Brother Baumann died one year ago and the Hamilton Fire Fighters developed an award to hounour his achievements and dedication to the Membership and the entire Labour Class. This years recipient was Colin Grieve.
The Executive Committee congratulates Brother Grieve, thanks all our new Retirees for their years of service to the Community and wishes them a long and healthy retirement.
Fraternally, Executive Committee
Families staying at Ronald McDonald House Hamilton need more than a place to lay their heads while supporting their sick child. Our families need the nourishment of a nutritiously prepared meal to give them the energy and strength they need to be strong for their child.
The ‘Meals that Heal’ program offers families a home-cooked meal seven nights a week. The RMHH in-house Chef will prepared a bistro menu with the assistance of The Hamilton Professional Firefighters Association. “We all have little ones, being far away from home caring for a loved one is a stressful enough situation, we had no problems getting members to step up.” said Dave Christopher, member of HPFFA.
The Hamilton Firefighters Combat Challenge Team has had a great year so far with the most podium finishes of any team in Canada. We recently returned from the National Championships in Edmonton, Alberta where we finished 2nd in team time (sum of top 3 times from our 5 man team, Louis Boiteau, Justin Couperus and Dean Morrow). Only 5/10th of a second separated us from the top team. We also finished 3rd in the relay, getting beat out of the tournament by the eventual winners from Kamloops.
The big news out of Edmonton though is new National Champion Louie Boiteau. Louis had been posting some very fast times all year, never once over 1:20. On the Thursday wildcard day in Edmonton, Louis ran a personal best 1:14.51. On Saturday, finals day, in the pouring rain when every race was slow, Louis ran a 1:14.81 but incurred a 2 second penalty leaving him with a 1:16.81. Louis raced in the second to last race. In the last race, the two competitors both ran a 1:15 but both incurred the same penalty leaving them with a final time of 1:17 and Louis as the new National Champion. After the race, Louis thanked his team and his training partners in a TSN interview, to be aired later this year.
This is a significant accomplishment because these are the fastest athletes/firefighters from across Canada. These athletes train as if they were professionals. Louis has had a personal trainer all year and has been on a very strict with his diet.
Right behind Louis though is Justin Couperus. Louis and Justin had been trading personal best times for the last two years and have a friendly rivalry. Justin finished 6th with a time of 1:17.63. Less than a second separated the top 7. Justin is poised to become the next National Champion, assuming Louis allows it. Written: Dean Morrow