Stew Bender shows off his Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal with Highlands Mayor Ken Williams. Bender completed 20 years of service as a volunteer firefighter with the Highlands Fire Department. (Photo courtesy of Highlands Fire Chief Dean Ford)

Highlands firefighter receives medal for 20 years of service

Stew Bender joined the Highlands Fire Department in 1999

It’s a rare accomplishment to be in the volunteer fire services for a long period of time, according to Highlands Fire Chief Dean Ford, but this past week Stew Bender was recognized for two decades of service.

On Tuesday, Bender received the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal for serving the Highlands Fire Department and community for 20 years. Bender was awarded the medal by the Chancellery of Honours in Ottawa on behalf of the Governor General of Canada.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay firefighter earns Governor General’s Medal of Bravery

“I’ve been with [Bender] the entire time, he’s an absolute pleasure to have around the department,” Ford said. “He was a mentor to a lot of the younger members and new recruits…he’s transferred his knowledge to them.”

Bender served as a lieutenant, senior driving instructor and mentor in his time with the fire department.

In a speech, Highlands Mayor Ken Williams said Bender demonstrated good conduct, industry and efficiency in his time serving the Highlands community.

“We truly appreciate the knowledge and commitment to the fire services that he leaves with the members who have had the pleasure of working with [Bender] over his 20 years in the department,” Williams said.

READ ALSO: Saanich fire department hits its 100th year


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