Calgary, AB,

Calgary Fire Department celebrates local heroes

Twenty-seven Calgarians were honoured for their bravery and decisive actions at a recognition luncheon hosted by the Calgary Fire Department today. Fire Chief Steve Dongworth awarded the courageous recipients with medals or certificates of Appreciation, Recognition or Commendation. The recipients were nominated by citizens and members of the Fire Department for their contribution during incidents in the last two years.

“It’s a privilege to recognize these extraordinary citizens today,” said Fire Chief Dongworth. “All of these individuals went above and beyond for their fellow Calgarians—a true reflection of the great city we live in.”

Among the award recipients is Anitha Alias, who earned recognition for saving the life of a fellow transit passenger in 2015. When the passenger collapsed, she was the first to respond, checking his pulse and administering CPR while instructing others to call 9-1-1. Helping someone in need comes naturally to the former nurse, who is thankful for the unexpected recognition.

“My first instinct was to take initiative and help,” Alias said of her response to the emergency situation. “As much as I appreciate the recognition, I am most thankful that I was able to save someone’s life.”

Other citizens recognized include Taylor Tymensen and Leif Vanden Berg, who called 9-1-1 and performed first aid on an unconscious biker in Fish Creek Park, and off-duty firefighter Benoit St. Pierre, who saved a group of backcountry skiers buried in an avalanche.

Every year, the Calgary Fire Department honours citizens and Calgary’s emergency responders for helping others beyond expectation in emergencies attended by the Fire Department. Nominations are considered for recognition by the Fire Department and the type of recognition is based on the situation and extent of the nominees’ actions.

Members of the public can nominate citizens, firefighters or other emergency responders for recognition by contacting 311. For more information on the Calgary Fire Department, please visit