Volunteer firefighters in Bedford have a proud, 80-year history of distinguished service to the community that continues today.
On December 17, 2019, Chairperson Judy White on behalf of Fort Sackville Foundation presented the Bedford Volunteer Firefighters Association (BVFA) with a commemorative plaque honouring this important 80th anniversary.
The presentation took place at Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Bedford Station 8. Acting Lt. Brin Jones and President of BVFD, and Lt. Robert Andrews, BVFA Public Relations, accepted the plaque.
The Hon. Kelly Regan, MLA; MP Geoff Regan; Councillor Tim Outhit and Deputy Chief Peter Andrews joined in recognizing the important contribution of volunteer firefighters, past and present, with special tributes and presentations.
Visit Scott Manor House on Facebook to see photos of this special evening.
A Brief History of Volunteer Firefighting in Bedford (1939-2019):
The Bedford Volunteer Fire Department (BVFD) grew out of a Bucket Brigade and existed from 1939 until amalgamation in 1996.
The BVFD developed a reputation as a progressive, professional, highly trained force that responded to rapid community growth, changing times, and advances in firefighting techniques and emergency services. The volunteers and their dedication to fire protection and other community service, have always stood out.
The BVFD was staffed entirely by volunteers until 1975 when the first paid firefighters (former volunteers) were added to improve daytime coverage. Since then, volunteers and paid (career) firefighters have served alongside each other protecting Bedford.
In 1985, the first female volunteer was accepted. In 1995 the department’s first paid fire chief was hired; until then the fire chief was a volunteer.
The Ladies Auxiliary provided fundraising support from 1962 to 1996 by catering wedding receptions, banquets and other community events.
There were 10 paid (career) firefighters and 60 active volunteers at the time of amalgamation in 1996 when the department ended. Volunteers formed the Bedford Volunteer Firefighters Association (BVFA), and continued to serve at Bedford Station 8, Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Services.
By 1999, Bedford Station 8 was staffed 24/7 by career firefighters with volunteer firefighters providing backup.
This continues today at Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency, with 16 volunteer firefighters backing-up and working alongside 16 career firefighters, delivering the fire and emergency services the public expects.