An Altona resident and long time volunteer has received some national recognition.

Bob Stoesz was in Ottawa yesterday to accept the Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award.

Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award

The prestigious honour recognizes the hard work and achievements of Canadians in preventing, preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies and disasters.

Stoesz served as a volunteer firefighter in Altona from 1979 to early 1997, nine of those years as fire chief.

In March 1997 Stoesz retired from the fire department and was no longer part of local emergency services.

He took on the volunteer job of municipal emergency coordinator for Altona and Rhineland Municipality in 1998 and would hold that post for the next 17 years, retiring from the position in 2015.

As emergency coordinator, he played a key role in coordinating cleanup efforts following a wind storm in 2004 that caused significant damage to property in Altona and Rhineland.

Stoesz also spearheaded the establishment of a weather radio system with Golden West Radio which serves as an early warning system for residents in Altona and Rhineland, and he initiated the installation of an outdoor siren system in Altona.

"It's very humbling to be nominated by Altona and Rhineland and when I said 'yes' in letting my name stand for nomination, I never thought that it would come to this," Stoesz said in a telephone interview from Ottawa Thursday evening. "This award can be attributed to all the people that I have worked with throughout the years in both fire and also emergency management. I think we have a very good thing going in our area and it continues to thrive today."

The Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award was presented at a ceremony held at the Canadian War Museum by Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale who presented several awards to Canadians for their work in emergency management.

Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale presents Bob Stoesz with the award