Years of service recognized for protective services

Fire Chief Kris Olsen has spent 26 years on the job because he loves it.

Those with more than 25 years of service in an area like policing, the military,
EMS, fire services and corrections were honoured in Prince Albert recently, with members of the Sask. Public Safety Agency included for the first time.

A group of honourees gathered at the EA Rawlinson Centre to be presented with medals from Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty on Sept. 23 and included in the list were the Chiefs of both the Prince Albert Police Service and the Fire Department.

“It was nice. I appreciate the recognition that goes to all emergency service personnel,” said Fire Chief Kris Olsen, who has been with the department for his entire 26 year career.

He has stayed in his position for one reason.

“I love the job, I love the city, I love the people in the city and I love serving,” Olsen said.

His career and words have a similar tone to that of Police Chief Johnathan Bergen, who also spend his entire career with Prince Albert Police except for two years with the Cudworth municipal police service.

“I started policing back in 1996 and its hard to believe that 25 years has already passed,” said Bergen. “What’s nice about today is being here with different colleagues, not just in policing but in emergency services across the community.”

Along with the two chiefs, Inspector Bradley Antonson (PAFD), Constable Cara Court (Ret., PAPS), Staff Sergeant Lawrie George (PAPS), Inspector Brent McDonald (PAPS) and Sergeant Rhonda Meakin (PAPS) and Coralee Dutchak (Parkland Ambulance) also received medals.

“It’s amazing to see that there have been so many contributions to public safety through the emergency service colleagues that we’ve grown alongside of in our careers,” said Bergen.

Bergen has been chief since 2018.

Lieutenant Governor Mirasty is a retired RCMP officer and commented on how that made giving out the medals special.

“Given my career with the RCMP, an opportunity to present the Saskatchewan Protective Services medal is particularly meaningful,” said Mirasty to the gathered crowd.  

I thank you on behalf of our sovereign and the people of Saskatchewan. Thank you for the excellence and integrity you bring to your role each and every day.”

He acknowledged that doing the jobs emergency workers do during the pandemic was particularly difficult.

“Working in protective services is challenging in any time, but the last year and a half have been extra challenging as we all know and certainly put extra pressure on you as service providers,” Mirasty stated. “You take care of us each and every day, be sure that you take care of yourselves.”