Three members of Selkirk Fire Department receive 30-year Exemplary Service Medals
Chief Dan Thorsteinson and firefighters Lorne Hokanson and Leonard Mikolash recognized by Selkirk City Council
Selkirk Fire Chief Dan Thorsteinson, along with Firefighters Lorne Hokanson and Leonard Mikolash, received their Governor General’s Fire Service Exemplary Service Medal 30-year supplemental bars at a ceremony prior to the Sept. 21st city council meeting.
Mayor Larry Johannson presented the bars, along with a Certificate of Recognition from the city, and thanked all three men for their years of service.
“You know how we feel about you guys,” Johannson said. “There’s 90 years of experience sitting right here. We couldn’t be prouder.”
Thorsteinson, Hokanson and Mikolash all received their 20-year Fire Service Medals together 10 years ago. The bars presented Monday night are in addition to that medal. Forty- and fifty-year bars are also available.
Thorsteinson explained the medals are not simply service medals for years put in. Recipients must be nominated and a letter detailing how the firefighter has gone above and beyond for the fire service and the community must accompany the nomination.
Fire departments are an integral part of any community, Thorsteinson said, calling firefighters “go-to guys” and likening them to other service clubs whose members respond not just to fire calls, but any call for assistance.
Of Hokanson and Mikolash, he said they’ve been part of the team that’s raised more than $400,000 for the Firefighters Burn Fund over the last 20 years. It was Thorsteinson who nominated both men for their 20-year medal and he said they are more than deserving of their 30-year bars.
“These guys were actively engaged in making the department better and carrying the fire service within the community to a higher level. Hats off to them…they’re the kind of guys that notice something that has to be done, and they just do it,” Thorsteinson said.
“They’re amazing guys.”
Deputy Fire Chief Craig Fiebelkorn nominated all three for their 30-year bars, and said the city’s long-serving Chief – 16-years-long – is the kind of leader every department wants to have.
“When he took over as chief the fire department had nowhere to move but forward,” Fiebelkorn said. “He’s progressive in his thinking, open to all suggestions for new technology and new ways of doing things and he supported everyone along the way that wanted to make the fire department better.”
Fiebelkorn said under Thorsteinson’s direction, the department prospered, in part because he took charge of the financial operations.
“Danny had the foresight to see that we needed to change things, new equipment and stuff like that. He made the decision to make our budget better and it was nothing but successful,” Fiebelkorn said.
“He’s done a great job.”
And, he encouraged his members to really become part of the community. Fiebelkorn said as Chief, Thorsteinson has always supported members in their volunteer efforts and sees the value in being involved to make Selkirk a better place to live.
“As members of the Fire Department we’re encouraged to participate in any community function that we’re asked to do,” Fiebelkorn said.
“Our guys see the importance of us being seen in the community and that’s all driven from the top.”
Thorsteinson, Hokanson and Mikolash will all retire from the department at the end of this year. Fieblekorn will take over as Fire Chief in January.
For more information contact:
CAO, City of Selkirk