North Bay Firefighters awarded Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving

North Bay, ON – October 28, 2016 – Two firefighters from North Bay Fire and Emergency Services (NBFES) were among those honoured at the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Northeast Region Award Ceremony on Friday, October 28.

NBFES firefighters Derrick Desilets and John Lazaridis received the OPP Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving alongside OPP Sergeant Andrew Bishop and North Bay Police Services constable Ashley St. John, for their act of courage and bravery this past winter during a blustery ice rescue.

“It’s definitely a humbling experience, and I am very honoured to receive such an award,” said firefighter John Lazaridis. “I am thankful in this circumstance that the person who went missing is alive today – that makes it that much more rewarding.”

Lazaridis and Desilets were part of the rescue team that worked to locate a man who had wandered out onto Lake Nipissing during a snow storm. Found buried in snow on Lake Nipissing, the man barely had any vital signs.  Using body heat the group was able to warm the man on the ice, and then used the rescue sled to transport him to safety.

“We get a lot of calls on a day-to-day basis and a lot of times we don’t get to see the positive outcome to a call,” said firefighter Derrick Desilets.  “It’s an honour to get an award like this.  It’s one of those calls that you remember for your whole career.”

“I am extremely proud that Derrick and John have been honoured with this award,” said NBFES Chief Jason Whiteley.  “Our firefighters put their lives at risk helping to save the lives of people within this community, and we are very grateful for that.”

The City of North Bay is a city of 54,000 people situated between the shores of Lake Nipissing and Trout Lake. For information on City services and programs, North Bay residents, businesses and visitors can visit