A long-time firefighter is getting the recognition he deserves.
Fort Saskatchewan City Council unanimously declared the new fire hall be named in Helmuth Ritter's honour. Ritter has served the local fire department for just over 50 years.
"I think it's very important that we recognize people in our community that have lengthy service, especially when it's serving as a firefighter," said mayor Gale Katchur. "I'm always of the belief, give that name before that person has passed on so that they can celebrate their accomplishments in this community."
A clearly emotional Ritter wiped tears from his face as council discussed, voted and passed the motion to name the fire hall after him. A standing ovation for Ritter filled council chambers after mayor Katchur declared the motion passed.
"This meant a lot to the Ritter [family], this meant a lot to me," she added. "I spoke to fire chief James Clark and said that this is something that we have to take care of before the election so [Clark] put the letter forward and I was thrilled that council supported it."
Ritter was born in 1939 near Spruce Grove and moved to the Fort in 1966 with his wife and two children. As the town - now city - grew, Ritter helped keep the fire department current with the latest technology, helping it become one of the most professional, respected and admired fire departments in the Capital Region.
He currently holds the position of Deputy Chief - Logistics. The special portfolio includes the management of safety and training programs, researching and reviewing standard operating procedures, leading the firefighters and managing the equipment and facilities.
In the nomination letter it said Ritter is often the first to the fire station, pulling out the pumper truck and being in constant communication with Incident Command.
The sign that sits on the future home of the Fort's second fire hall will be updated to include the new name, a ceremony is in the works.