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Kingsville Fire Fest Celebration Offers Fun & Fire Safety


by Dan Bissonnette

  The opportunity to have an up-close experience with fire and rescue equipment, along with a hearty breakfast and sunny skies, proved to be a winning combination for the Kingsville Fire Fest Celebration, which took place on Saturday, September 10 at Ridgeview Park in Cottam. This was the second edition of this event following its launch in 2021.

  Hosted by Kingsville Fire & Rescue as a community education initiative, this morning event showcased several of the department’s vehicles. This included four pumper engines, two rescue trucks, a ladder truck and a rescue boat. Attendees had an opportunity to experience these vehicles first hand, as well as meet with local firefighters who provided demonstrations and answered questions.  

The festival opened up with a breakfast fundraiser, with local firefighters taking on the kitchen duties. According to Kingsville Fire & Rescue Administrator Stephanie Coussens, over 100 people were served. She added that the proceeds of the breakfast will be used to help local families in need.  

  If the size of the crowd was any indication, it appears that the second edition of this event has built momentum as an annual community tradition. Deputy Fire Chief Jason Suchi, who was busy throughout the morning speaking with local residents, agreed.

“We’ve had a great turnout. It’s great to see so many people take an interest in what we do.”

Besides being a fun family outing, Kingsville’s South Station Chief Bob Brando explained that the Fire Fest Celebration shows just how much firefighting has changed over the years.

“When people think of firefighters, they often picture us dealing with home fires, but that is only part of what we do. Besides structural fires, we also perform water and ice rescues, as well as tiered response with EMS.”  

Also on hand were three representatives from Essex Fire & Rescue, who provided Engine No. 2 for display. Essex Fire Chief Ed Lepain explained that they were happy to support this event.

  “This is our first time coming here. It’s our way of supporting our neighbours.”

  Lepain added that the firefighters of Essex and Kingsville are no strangers to each other. These departments, along with those in other municipalities, occasionally provide mutual aid to each other.

South Station Chief Bob Brando summed up why he felt that this event is important.

“If citizens of the town have questions, we can answer them. An event like this gives them the assurance that when they need to dial 911, we can provide a proper response.”