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Chilliwack Chiefs to honour first responders Saturday night

Matthew Hutchinson awards to be handed out to several Chilliwack individuals
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First Responders Night at the Chilliwack Chiefs is Feb. 10, 2024.

It’s that time again.

The Chilliwack Chiefs will present the Matthew Hutchinson Memorial Awards this Saturday (Feb. 10) during First Responders Night, presented by Joint Force Tactical.

Hutchinson, a volunteer firefighter and former Chilliwack Chief, died tragically in 2016. Since then, the Chiefs have honoured his life and commitment to service by partnering with local first responders to celebrate their own each year.

The awards will be presented by Hutchinson’s uncle, Kevin.

Award recipients were each nominated by their peers for excellence in their field and exceptional community service. This season’s recipients include members of the Chilliwack Fire Department, Ambulance Paramedics of BC, BC Corrections, Search and Rescue, RCMP, and Chilliwack General Hospital.

They are Greg Campbell from BC Corrections, Sgt. Dale Wagner from the RCMP, Chris Tuininga from Chilliwack Search and Rescue, Tom and Julie Ovens from Chilliwack General Hospital, Derek Wheeler from Ambulance Paramedics of BC, and Brigade Chief Carey Prinse from the Chilliwack Fire Department.

The puck drops at 6 p.m. on Saturday against the Coquitlam Express. The two teams will also meet up in Coquitlam on Friday night (Feb. 9), and back at the Coliseum on Feb. 16.

BC Corrections – Greg Campbell

“As a leader at Ford Mountain Correctional Center, this individual has consistently demonstrated a passion and dedication for his work that embodies the ideals and values of the Corrections Branch and BC Public Service as a whole. As the programs supervisor for FMCC, he always demonstrates a commitment to providing a high level of service to the residents at FMCC. He is always seeking out new programs and opportunities for the residents of FMCC to help improve their lives. He also is FMCC’s dedicated advocate for our organization in the community. From all the staff at FMCC, we say thank you, and congratulations to Greg Campbell.”

RCMP – Sergeant Dale Wagner

“Sergeant Dale Wagner is a senior patrol supervisor with 14 years of service with the RCMP, the last three with the Upper Fraser Valley Regional RCMP Detachment. Sgt. Wagner regularly engages youth in school talks, youth community groups, and the positive ticket campaign during the summer months. While off duty, he is actively involved in a number of not-for-profit organizations that engage with youth and adults in need.”

Chilliwack Search & Rescue – Chris Tuininga

“Chris Tuininga has served with Chilliwack SAR since 1999. An active member of multiple teams, including Swiftwater Rescue, Rope Rescue, Avalanche Response, and Helicopter Class D Fixed Line, he also serves as Search Manager and Vice President on the Executive and frequently volunteers at community events supporting Search and Rescue. When not at SAR, he is employed as a Marketing and Communications Specialist with Fraser Valley Regional Library.”

Chilliwack General Hospital – Tom & Julie Ovens

“Tom and Julie Ovens are a dynamic healthcare duo, each with careers spanning more than 30 years at Chilliwack General Hospital. This humble couple shows up as strong and compassionate leaders and are loved and respected by their colleagues. They are passionate about leading initiatives related to staff safety, wellness; and delivery of quality patient care.”

Ambulance Paramedics of BC – Derek Wheeler

“I don’t know any other Paramedic who stops anything he’s doing at any time to assist in encouragement, support, really listen, and teach others. It doesn’t matter what level you are in paramedicine; Derek always makes time to make you feel important. He goes above and beyond always.”

Chilliwack Fire Department – Brigade Chief Carey Prinse

“Brigade Chief Carey Prinse of Hall 2 Rosedale exemplifies dedication and service, having been a steadfast member of the Chilliwack Fire Department for the past 38 years. Answering the call for volunteers, he embraced his role wholeheartedly, rising through the ranks to become 3rd captain in 2007 and brigade chief in 2008. He is a second-generation farmer and is the third consecutive dairy farmer to act as Brigade Chief for the local hall. Throughout his tenure, he has fought fires and ignited a passion for the fire department and community service in countless firefighters through his leadership. As he prepares to retire this spring, his legacy of selflessness and leadership will forever burn brightly in the hearts of those he has served and inspired.”