Hudson firefighter receives Governor General Award
CARMEN MARIE FABIO
Hudson Fire Department Assistant Chief Daniel Leblanc (in white) received his surprise award and medal at the station Monday, December 8, in the presence of (left to right) Peter Leblanc, Hélène Leblanc, Lisa Parent, Joshua Leblanc, Mayor Ed Prévost, and Chief Philippe Baron.
Luring all the Hudson firefighters into a training room December 8 under the pretext of a Christmas Basket group photo, Chief Philippe Baron and fellow firefighter Dawn Croydon surprised 20-year force veteran and Assistant Chief Daniel Leblanc by presenting him with the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal from Canada’s Governor General. “The award is given specifically for exemplary service,” said Baron, pointing out that while all 20-year milestones are recognized, the Governor General Award recipient must have a completely unblemished performance record devoid of misconduct or administrative reprimands.
“The Hudson fire department paints a distinctive picture of how a fire department stands in regards to values. Daniel enhances that value in respect to the organization. He’s a true gentleman.” Besides the firefighter team, on hand to witness the presentation of both the certificate signed by Governor General David Johnston and the accompanying medal were Leblanc’s wife Lisa Parent his son Joshua Parent,
Mom Hélène Parent, and dad Peter Parent, himself a 38-year veteran of the department. Mayor Ed Prévost was also in attendance joined by Councillors Robert Spencer, Deborah Woodhead, Nicole Durand, Ron Goldenberg, and Barbara Robinson. “This award is in recognition of your service to the population, for the familial sacrifices that include working on holidays and anniversaries and responding to calls at a moment’s notice,” said Baron in his presentation speech.
“The medal marks a stage in your life where we thank you for what you’ve accomplished with work that is often difficult but rewarding on both a personal and collective level.” Baron described how Leblanc started his career when he was 17 years old. He made the positon of Lieutenant five years later and within four years was promoted to Captain. Nine years later, he became Assistant Chief. “The question I’m asking, Daniel,” concluded the chief, “is ‘Am I in danger?’”
“Daniel’s definitely been a mentor for me,” said Captain Adrian Bonnemayers. “I’ve been here for 15 years now and he’s one of the team members I looked up to.” Bonnemayers said Leblanc is very dedicated to the Hudson community, donating many nights and weekends. “As Assistant Chief, he’s been in charge of quite a few major interventions and even in situations of high stress, he’s always been able to give clear and concise orders.”
True to Baron’s character description, Leblanc accepted the award with understated calm, extending thanks to his father Peter for leading him to his full-time firefighting career rather than his first goal of being an electrician. “I’m happy to share this award with him now,” Daniel Leblanc said. “It’s a great experience. I wouldn’t change it for the world.” Leblanc also thanked the team saying, “It’s because of you that we have this great service and hopefully we’ll be here for another 20 years.”