This evening I had the distinct honour of attending the Oak Bay Emergency Services Appreciation Banquet. I had the opportunity to extend deep appreciation and respect for the daily efforts and dedication of Oak Bay’s emergency services towards the health, safety and betterment of our community.
Good evening and thank you for the kind invitation for Helen and me to attend tonight’s banquet. We are honoured to be here with you.
Please let me join others here in thanking you, Oak Bay’s emergency service members, for your dedicated, professional and selfless service to our community — for being there in our times of need.
I am pleased to be here tonight to honour the work you do in the service of others. As citizens, we are reassured in knowing that you are there and ready to help us when needed. Dave Carroll’s song in the video (also shown below) we just watched says it all — you are everyday heroes. To quote from the lyrics:
When people in the world need savin’
The saviours who answer the call
Don’t get paid anymore for danger
Or get to pick the one’s they want
They just go to where the few will go
To maybe lay it all on the line
Just to do their job, do it one more time
Many of us may only have brief contact with you in the course of our lives, but the work you do has life-long impact on so many that you serve in the community.
You encounter and witness events in the course of your work that most of us will never see. I’m sure you sometimes wish some things could be unseen, but that is not your reality. There is often a heavy price to pay for your work – with shift work, emergency call-outs, interrupted family life and the inherent danger you face in the course of your duties. You are often dealing with emotionally difficult and highly intense situations. Instead of running from danger, you run courageously towards it and focus on the job you are trained to do.
To quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear”.
We are also very appreciative for all the work that you do to support our community. We see you at numerous community events, you fundraise for charity and undertake important liaison work in the schools and through education in the areas of prevention and safety.
Helen and I would like to extend our deep appreciation and respect for your daily efforts and dedication towards the health, safety and betterment of our community.
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