Five recognized as Hometown Heroes by fire department, RCMP

Leader staff

The Hometown Heroes program recognizes members of the community who have gone above and beyond, to assist those when they need it the most. Instituted by the Lesser Slave Lake Regional Fire Service, and in partnership with the RCMP, the program accepts nominations throughout the year and holds a dinner and recognition event once a year about this time.


On Dec. 17 at Hall #1 in Slave Lake, the following people were recognized:

Dom McKnight of Flatbush, Doug and Connie Baird of Marten Beach, Virginia DiFrancesco of Slave Lake and Jayden Bar of Slave Lake.


Below is the information provided by the fire department on each of this year’s Hometown Heroes:


Dom McKnight
Dom is a junior member of Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service Hall 4(Flatbush). On the way home from school one afternoon, Dom came across a two-vehicle accident.


Although he is taking training to become a regular member of the fire service, at the time he was with a friend and had no other equipment with him.


Dom was professional during the situation, and was able to conduct patient care and some scene control until members from the Westlock County Fire Services Station 1 arrived on scene. He was able to relay them valuable information about the incident and assist as needed. Dom was nominated by Donna Dul, Westlock County Station 1 Fire Chief.

Doug and Connie Baird
During the flooding that took place in 2018 at Marten Beach, Doug and Connie opened their home to people experiencing hardship. Doug was instrumental in assisting the MD of Lesser Slave River emergency administration with communications, especially when the community was cut off due to road closure. Doug was nominated by MD CAO Allan Winarski.


Virginia Di- Francesco
Virginia is an employee of the RBC in Slave Lake. One afternoon a local citizen was in the bank and had a medical episode. There were some other people trying to assist.


Virginia came out of her office with the first aid kit; remaining calm she took control of the situation, assisted the citizen, reassuring her that she was going to be okay and stayed with her until EMS arrived, When EMS arrived she was able to give them an update of what was going on and make sure that the citizen was looked after. Virginia was nominated by LSRFS Admin. Char Vetsch


Jayden Bar
Jayden was traveling on a schoolbus back from an outdoor run event, when there was a car accident in front of the bus. While the teacher called 911, Jayden hopped off the bus, grabbed some rubber gloves and went to assist the driver of the vehicle in the accident. Jayden was able to help the driver until local fire services arrived.


Jayden has been a member of the Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service’s Future Fire Fighter program, and some of her training in that program was used on this event. Jayden was nominated by her teacher, Maria Doroshenko

From left to right: M.D. of LSR Reeve Murray Kerik, RCMP Cst. Davidson, Deputy Fire Chief Alex Pavcek, Lt. Wade McKnight (Hall 4) Dom McKnight, Kathy McKnight, Virginia DiFrancesco (Her son in front of her) Doug Baird, Jayden Bar, Slave Lake Mayor Tyler Warman and RCMP Cst. Mackenzie

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