During the District of Barriere’s Nov. 6, 2023 evening regular council meeting, mayor Ward Stamer presented chief Ashley Wohlgemuth with an award from the District of Barriere commemorating her 25-year milestone of volunteer service with the Barriere Volunteer Fire Department (BVFD).
Wohlgemuth began her volunteer service with the BVFD as a youth in the junior membership program. Since that time, Wohlgemuth has been a dedicated member of the department serving in many different capacities along the way and wearing officer stripes for much of that time. Chief Wohlgemuth is highly respected by her peers and since being appointed as fire chief in 2018, her leadership has helped shape a well-rounded team of dedicated and skilled volunteer fire personnel who also loyally serve Barriere and the Thompson Nicola Regional District Fire Protection Service area.
“A quarter of a century is a long time for anyone to dedicate to one organization,” said Stamer. “This is even more profound when that dedication is a quarter of a century of volunteer service. We are beyond grateful to have such a loyal and dedicated individual helping to protect and serve Barriere for so many years. Ashley has seen our valley through multiple wildfire emergencies, including the devastation of the 2003 McLure wildfire. In addition, she has saved many homes, businesses and most importantly lives, over the course of these 25 years. This sincere appreciation is expressed from this organization’s current and past elected officials, staff, volunteers, & contractors.”
Chief Wohlgemuth was not the only fire department volunteer recognized last night. Deputy fire chief Derek Ive was also presented an award by mayor Stamer on behalf of the governor general of Canada, recognizing 20 years of firefighting service to Canadians. Prior to Ive’s appointment as the District of Barriere’s deputy fire chief in 2019, he served as captain. In 2002 Ive started his service of firefighting in Clinton, where he also was a dedicated member of a mine rescue team before making the move to Barriere eight years ago where he offered his experience to Barriere’s fire rescue department.
Deputy Ive is extremely valued by chief Wohlgemuth, the fire department team, district administration, council and the community as a whole. Chief Wohlgemuth was also awarded this same recognition certificate from the governor general at this meeting.
Other District of Barriere tenure milestones were recognised by mayor Stamer on behalf of council at the Nov. 6, meeting: Ellen Monteith, administrative support clerk – 15 years, Tasha Buchanan, corporate officer – 15 years and Paul Amos, public works utilities specialist – 15 years.