John Maskerine, fire chief and director of public safety, Thompson Fire and Emergency Services
Maskerine has been with Thompson Fire and Emergency Services for 48 years, advancing up the ranks from firefighter to his current position as director of fire and public safety.
He participates on several committees within the Manitoba Association of Fire Chiefs, including the Manitoba Provincial Fire Protection Plan committee, has served on the executive for the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2200 and is part of the provincial critical incident stress management team.
Under his leadership, Thompson Fire and Emergency Services support its neighbours in northern Manitoba through mutual aid, training and supporting a First Nations Fire Fighter Rodeo in the city of Thompson.
Maskerine has been an active community member and volunteer for decades. He was a founding member and is still involved in the Thompson Firefighters Association and regularly gives his time to the Kinsmen Club, Thompson Winter Carnival and Nickel Days.
Garry Bell, deputy fire chief (retired), Brandon Fire and Emergency Services
Bell retired as the deputy fire chief of Brandon Fire and Emergency Services in 2015, after 32 years of dedicated service. During that time, he also served with the Manitoba Association of Fire Chiefs in several capacities including president and past-president. He also mentored new members and served on many committees.
Bell represented the Manitoba Fire Service on the National Advisory Council to the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and lobbied the federal government on issues such as the Volunteer Fire Fighter Tax Credit. He has also served as a board member for the Brandon Regional Health Authority.
One of his many important contributions to the province was working on the Emergency Medical Services and Communications Committee for the Manitoba Association of Fire Chiefs. He helped start the provincial E-911 service in Brandon and in the development of a provincial trunked radio system (known as FleetNet) that helps all first responders, regardless of their specialty, communicate with each other in times of need.
For many years, Bell represented Brandon Fire and Emergency Services as the co-ordinator of the Grand Valley Mutual Aid District and organized training, fire prevention and public education activities. Bell also helped organize the trade show at the annual Manitoba Emergency Services Fall Conference.
Bell remains active in the community as a member of the organizing committee for the Brandon Travellers’ Day Parade and other events including the Annual Shamrock Social.