Two Caledon firefighters receive Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery

Two Caledon firefighters have received awards for their bravery and service to the Caledon community.

Caledon’s Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Fairbarn, and firefighter Brandon DiMonte, recently received the Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery. The news was announced by the Province, detailing recipients of the Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery and Ontario Medal for Police Bravery.

Fairbarn and DiMonte, alongside Captain Jeff Clayton of Brampton Fire and Emergency Services, received medals for their role in saving drivers from a fiery crash.

On April 24, 2023, a two-vehicle collision occurred on Highway 10 in Caledon and left both cars in flames with their drivers trapped inside.

“Off-duty firefighters, Captain Jeff Clayton and Captain Jeff Fairbarn were able to rescue the driver from the first car just moments before it became fully engulfed,” said the Province in a statement. “Moving to the second vehicle, they coordinated efforts with firefighter Brandon DiMonte to free the trapped driver despite the growing flames. They successfully rescued both individuals from the blazing wreckage.”

Ontario’s Medal for Firefighter Bravery was created in 1976 to honour firefighters who go above and beyond the call of duty to protect and serve their communities. Ontario’s Medal for Police Bravery was created the year prior.

Edith Dumont, Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, said the police officers and firefighters who have earned the medals have displayed exceptional courage.

“Each one of the recipients has gone well above and beyond their duties, and we are proud to recognize the impact of their selfless service on their communities and on our province,” said Dumont.

Ontario’s Solicitor General Michael Kerzner said Ontario is fortunate to be home to some of the best police officers and firefighters in Canada.

"Recognizing these individuals with medals for bravery is a privilege and a great honour,” said Kerzner. “Their work is an inspiration to us all, and on behalf of the people of Ontario, I thank them for their dedication to their communities and their extraordinary acts of heroism."

Since 1976, 302 Ontario Medals for Firefighter Bravery have been awarded. Since 1975, 333 Ontario Medals for Police Bravery have been awarded.

The Province said the medals are Ontario’s highest honours and are awarded to police officers and firefighters who have demonstrated great courage in risking their lives to save the lives of others.

Zachary Roman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Caledon Citizen