For a fifth year the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association conducted a National search to name one of Canada’s best volunteer firefighters based upon a prescribed criteria. The award is known as the, “CVFSA Lifetime Achievement Award”©. The program is administered and managed by the CVFSA and the nomination process was open for a five month period. A committee of five volunteers from five different regions of Canada reviewed the nominations and selected the winner. The official announcement was made during a municipal council meeting in East Hants, Nova Scotia on June 26, 2014. The 2014 recipient was Fire Chief Malcolm “Mac” E. Noble of the Elmsdale Fire and Emergency Services Department. Mac Noble joined his first fire department in 1962 and has served as a volunteer for 52 consecutive years. For 41 of those years he was a member of the Elmsdale Fire and Emergency Services Department. Even more spectacular Mac served as the Chief Officer for 28 of those years. He has made significant contributions to the safety, training and betterment of all members of the fire service and other emergency services. Mac is also a provincially certified Medical First Responder (MFR). His contributions have been invaluable in accomplishing safer and more efficient emergency services throughout Nova Scotia. Provincially, Mac Noble has chaired a committee commissioned by the Provincial Fire Marshal to establish suggested operating guidelines for emergency services personnel that included firefighters, paramedics, and police officers who operate at scenes of road-side emergencies. As well he has travelled throughout the province to over 150 departments meeting with 900 firefighters where he provided training in the guidelines. He is the director for Hants County for the Fire Services Association of Nova Scotia (FSANS). He sits on the FSANS Insurance Committee, Medical First Responder Committee and Critical Incident Stress Management Committee. Mac is also a peer CISM counsellor and a member of the Provincial CISM Committee. Locally within his own region, Mac played a large part in the establishment of a formal regional mutual aid organization. The organization came to be known as the Central Nova Scotia Fire Service Association encompassing many fire departments from neighbouring jurisdictions. During Mac’s 52 years as a volunteer firefighter, he has had the support of his wife Anne. Mac and Anne raised a family of four with three of the four children being involved in the fire department. In 2012 Mac was nominated by the CVFSA for the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He also was awarded the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal, the Nova Scotia Fire Services Long Service Medal, and most recently in June of 2014 was awarded the CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award. In September Mac and his wife Anne were flown to Ottawa and provided hotels and meals compliments of Duracell Canada. Prearranged transportation with a chauffeur picked up the honoured couple at the airport and delivered them downtown to the Delta City Centre Hotel. Mac was appointed to the 2014 CVFSA Honour Guard to march in the lead position during the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. During his stay in Ottawa the municipal flag from the East Hants Municipality prominently flew on the flag pole in front of the hotel. While in Ottawa Mac was provided private transportation and accompanied by the Provincial Director representing Mac’s province on the National Board. On Saturday morning Mac was officially presented his award for a lifetime of achievement. A short video outlined the accomplishments of Mac, showing his hometown and various activities of his fire department. The video was played on a large screen for those present at the Annual General Meeting. Federal Minister the Honourable John Baird greeted Mac to the Annual General Meeting. The Honourable Minister accompanied Mac and Anne at his table during the meeting. Mac was then presented with an original custom made crystal hand-blown, hand-cut vase that was uniquely made for CVFSA. (there are only five such pieces in Canada)
Mac was then provided with the opportunity to address those who were present. Mac noted several of the prizes that he was awarded as this year’s winner and the complete surprise that the award had been to him up to June 26th when it was announced. He noted two of the prizes that he considered quite significant, was awarded to his community and not to him personally. He wanted to thank Proctor and Gamble for the donation of 18 pallets of stock to the, Caring and Sharing Angel Tree Food Bank, in Enfield, his hometown. He also thanked First Alert for the donation of 200 smoke alarms to be distributed in his community. On Saturday afternoon he participated in a private tour of the Parliament Buildings and was treated to a dinner that evening. His private transportation had preapproved security clearance and delivered him and Anne to the front doors of the Parliament Building, a service reserved for diplomats. On Sunday he attended the Firefighters Memorial Service and that evening he returned home. The 2014 “CVFSA Lifetime Achievement Award”© program was supported by several partners, some of which included Duracell, First Alert, CROSSTECH, Scotty Firefighter and True North.