On Sept. 9 we were honoured to have OPP Const. Ken Johnston and Volunteer Firefighter with Norfolk County, Marcia VanHaverbeke for a virtual meet and greet as part of community helper week.
Officer Johnson has been involved in many roles within the Ontario Provincial Police department including the County of Brant OPP Community Safety Officer positon. He has been a resource officer for Paris District High School and runs an excellent community policing course for citizens.
Ken has been on the force for 28 years and carries an impressive resume working in Patrol, Street Crime, Major Crime and Traffic Unit to name a few.
When asked if a Police officer was always something Ken wanted to do, he answered “Since the time he was six years old. He knew”
His favourite career moment happened while in St. George. It’s been more than four years since Christmas came early for Evan Leversage, a seven-year-old boy in St. George who had an inoperable brain tumour.
When Evan’s family was told he wouldn’t live until Christmas, his hometown of St. George decided to celebrate early, on Oct. 24, 2015 with a Santa Claus parade and Christmas decorations.
Ken was the key representative for the parade.
“It was by far the most positive energy I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Everyone was there for a positive reason. I stayed with Evan as the parade went by and lifted him onto the float with Santa Claus and he rode the parade with”
An image of Ken and Evan is illustrated in “The Boy Who Moved Christmas” which was released this week.
Firefighter Marcia volunteers with Norfolk County Fire Department. This is Marcia’s first year volunteering with Norfolk County.
Marcia joined firefighting as another way to help others as she also teaches with
Brant-Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board.
Marcia suited up for the occasion as she led our participants on a virtual tour of the station.
“To become a firefighter you need to pass a test and be able to get dressed in one minute”
Making her way over to the trucks in the bay, Marcia counted out her steps to show the length of the latter truck.
“42 steps long - the latter reaches 100 ft.”
Convinced Chris Pope must have been a firefighter in a past life, he impressed Marcia with his knowledge of the different types of equipment used in emergency scenarios.
Both John Jr. and Yi-Min were representing Chicago Fire Station #18 wearing
t-shirts they purchased on their visit to Chicago last year.
Jordan asked “Do you ever get scared when fighting a fire”?
“I mostly feel adrenaline. You’re trained a lot to go in and do what your taught to do. At the end of the day, it’s very rewarding.” Marcia answered.
Special thanks to both Officer Johnson and Volunteer Firefighter Marcia for keeping our community safe and taking the time out of their busy schedules to educate and share with our individuals.