Osler Fire Chief Jason Pauls (Gazette photo by Terry Pugh)

With a quarter-century of service with the Osler Fire Department (OFD) under his belt, Fire Chief Jason Pauls has responded to countless structure fires, wildfires, motor vehicle collisions and medical calls.

On Saturday, April 15, Pauls was presented with a 25-year service award by Osler Deputy Fire Chief Harvey Braun. The presentation took place at the first annual Osler Fire Fighters Association Firemen’s Ball, where a sold-out crowd dipped into their wallets to raise money for the department and the community through a fundraising supper, auction and dance.

Osler Fire Chief Jason Pauls (far left) and Osler Deputy Fire Chief Harvey Braun (far right) presented service awards to (l-r) Josh Minovitch, Jamie Thiele, Clint Friesen, Andrew Giesbrecht, Evan Seabrook, and Alex Walter (Gazette photo by Terry Pugh)

Pauls was one of several OFD members who were recognized for their long service to the department and the community last week. At a ceremony at the Osler Fire Hall on Wednesday, April 12, retiring firefighters Clint Friesen, Andrew Giesbrecht and Evan Seabrook were presented with commemorative engraved fire axes. Friesen and Giesbrecht were 15-year members of the OFD, while Seabrook was involved for 10 years.

Commemorative axes were presented to the three retiring firefighters (Susan Braun photo)

The axes themselves had seen many years of service on the job as they were all used in the field by firefighters. In addition, Jamie Thiele and Josh Minovitch were presented with 10-year service awards at the April 12 event, while Alex Walter was recognized for five years of service.

Osler Firefighters Les Boryski and Dan Guenther (Gazette photo by Terry Pugh)

At the April 15 Firemen’s Ball, firefighter Les Boryski was presented with a 10-year service award while Dan Guenther received a 5-year service award.

Osler Fire Department members are introduced to the crowd at the Firemen’s Ball April 15 (Susan Braun photo)

OFFA President Jamie Thiele said the organization was formed in October, 2022, with a goal of raising funds for the fire department and the community. Every member of the OFD is also a member of the OFFA, he noted

“It’s another way for us to give back to the community,’ he said, adding that while this is the first Firemen’s Ball organized by the OFFA, it’s not the first to be held in Osler. There is a long tradition of such events, he said. Thiele then introduced all the members of the OFFA.

The Firemen’s Ball saw several members of Warman Fire Rescue, Corman Park Police and Saskatchewan Air Ambulance in attendance.

Forestburg Fire Department Deputy Chief Doug Brown (Susan Braun photo)

Prior to the supper, Forestburg, Alberta Deputy Fire Chief Doug Brown (an uncle of Osler firefighter James O’Neil, offered a ‘Fireman’s Prayer’ – a moving testimony to the courage and selflessness of firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect others.

The centre piece of the evening’s auction was an autographed jersey from Lethbridge Hurricanes star player Chase Pauls, the son of Fire Chief Jason Pauls.

Lisa Moen and her band provided the entertainment at the Osler Firemen’s Ball April 15 (Gazette photo by Terry Pugh)

The crowd kicked up their heels to the polished sounds of Lisa Moen and her band.