2014 Winners - Annual Brampton Safe City Awards
Congratulations to all our 2014 Recipients
2014 Lifetime Achievement Award for Safety
Retired Brampton Fire Chief Andy MacDonald has had a distinguished 37-year career with Brampton Fire & Emergency Services. Starting as a volunteer in 1977, he was hired as a full time firefighter in 1979. During the next three decades, he rose through the ranks to Captain (1986), Assistant Deputy Chief (1999), Deputy Chief (2003) and Brampton Fire Chief (2008). Chief MacDonald retired in 2014.
Throughout his career, Andy MacDonald has shown tremendous caring and exemplary leadership in a fire service that is renowned as one of Canada’s best. His many career achievements include: bringing new technologies to strengthen firefighting efforts in Brampton (e.g. defibrillators, thermal imaging cameras), hosting a national and eight regional Firefit Challenges, addressing the nation from Canada’s Parliament Buildings at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in 2009, and being awarded 2014 Ontario Fire Chief of the Year.
In 1996, after experiencing the deaths of three young children in a house fire, Andy devoted countless hours to establishing an education centre in Brampton that would teach children and families about fire safety. After 7 years of incredible dedication, his dream was realized with the 2003 opening of the Fire Life Safety Education Centre in Chinguacousy Park. Since then thousands of Brampton children have attended the centre to learn important fire safety skills. Thank you Andy for your lifelong commitment to safety, and for helping to make Brampton one of the world’s designated safe places.
2014 Community Safety Hero Award
Jamie Holtom is truly gifted with the ability to organize people and get them involved in a good cause. For more than a decade, Jamie has mobilized countless teams of volunteers to plan activities and events for Brampton citizens. This includes teaching basketball skills to young people and mentoring them, painting apartments of families who cannot afford to do their own home renovations (Refresh Program), organizing clothing exchanges and food drives, helping seniors with snow shovelling and more.
Jamie Holtom also serves as the Chaplain for Brampton Fire & Emergency Services. Jamie and his wife Katrina created one of Brampton’s premier annual events, Lucas Holtom Carnival Day, as a tribute to their son Lucas and as a means for families to celebrate each other and life. It now engages thousands of people each year. In 2012, Jamie Holtom brought together a number of community agencies and citizens to create the Journey, a neighbourhood centre serving Ardglen. This busy centre now provides after-school programs for youth, parenting workshops, cooking for teens, as well as advocacy for poverty, housing and education on behalf of area residents. Brampton is a better, safer place because of Jamie Holtom’s leadership and dedication. Congratulations and thank you Jamie.
2014 Children's Safety Award
Emma and Jasmeet
Emma and Jasmeet were Grade 5 students at Esker Lake Public School and Bus Patrollers in 2013* when they decided to create an educational presentation about the safety issues and safety awareness for students who ride school buses to and from school each day.
Working during their own lunch and recess times, this dynamic duo created an awesome ‘Prezi’ presentation to teach other students in their school about bus safety. They courageously presented it to the entire school. The leadership and creativity these resourceful students demonstrated is outstanding. By using new media technology, their message was more relevant and appealing to their schoolmates.
Teachers at the school observed an increase in awareness about bus safety because of Emma and Jasmeet’s project. They are an inspiration to other children and members of the community for their dedication and commitment to preventing childhood injuries related to bus safety.
*Emma and Jasmeet have since graduated from Esker Lake Public School, and now attend Williams Parkway Senior Public School.
2014 Fire Safety Award
Shalini Bhutani is a strong advocate for fire safety. As an Operations Manager for Capreit LP since June 2006, Ms. Bhutani oversees a total of 1,228 units located in several buildings in the City of Brampton. In 2014 Shalini teamed up with Brampton Fire and Emergency Services to bring fire safety to the residents of these buildings. She arranged, advertised and promoted fire safety displays within each building. Shalini has demonstrated that she goes above and beyond the call of duty to bring fire safety to the residents of Capreit LP . Her partnership with Brampton Fire and Emergency Services has allowed us to reach many more citizens regarding fire safety, as well as breaking down inhibitions about calling 9-1-1 for assistance. Congratulations Shalini and thank you for the outstanding work you do to keep residents safe in their homes.
2014 Community Crime Prevention Award
Constable Cameel Chambers
During her work in Crime Prevention Services at Peel Regional Police, Constable Cameel Chambers recently recognized a trending pedestrian safety problem – pedestrians focused on their smart phones or other electronic devices while walking along busy streets. People engaged in this dangerous habit have become known as ‘zombie pedestrians’. Cst. Chambers ingenuously decided put this slang expression to good use in an innovative safety campaign. Cameel led a team of her crime prevention colleagues in creating the theme “Zombie Pedestrians – Walk Now – Text Later”. The campaign, including advertisements, educational materials and even a life-size zombie cardboard cut-out, has become a resounding success. It is a fun and effective way to teach people about the dangers of distracted walking. Congratulations Cameel on your innovative idea, and this outstanding campaign.
2014 Crossing Guard of the Year Award
Everett Towns has been a Crossing Guard at St Agnes Elementary School in Brampton for the past 13 years. He has steadfastly arrived at his post early each morning, greeted the children by their names and never left until everyone safely crossed the busy street. Over the years, Everett has taken on extra volunteer duties including bringing in the school mail and cooking hot dogs at the school’s annual Fall Welcome-Back BBQ. Everett is considered a member of the school family. Congratulations Everett, and thanks for keeping Brampton children safe from harm, and for brightening their day with your smile and kind words.
2014 Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board Award for Safety
Dario Vrbanek and Michelle Coutinho
Violence against women is unacceptable. Dario Vrbanek, a teacher at St Thomas Aquinas Secondary School in Brampton became increasingly concerned after hearing too many insults and negative comments made by young males towards females. In 2012, he launched an innovative campaign at St Thomas Aquinas, called ‘Put Yer Pinkies Up”. It is a movement to engage men in a process of becoming better men. The process addresses the root causes of violence against women. On December 6 each year, the day of the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, male students are challenged to paint their pinkie nails bright red with a white ribbon in the centre. This ‘breaking of a gender stereotype is used as a vehicle to discuss gender roles and the pressures to behave in particularly ‘manly’ ways while putting down or avoiding ‘feminine’ behaviours.
The campaign was such a success in 2012, Dario enlisted help from Michelle Coutinho, Principal of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board to take the program to other secondary schools. To date, hundreds of male students and staff have taken part in this annual event, increasing awareness and changing attitudes about violence against women. Congratulations and thank you Dario and Michelle for helping to make our schools and community safer.
2014 Road Safety Award
Anne Marie Hayes
Anne Marie Hayes is a true road safety champion. She serves on the Board of Directors for National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) in Washington, DC and is a member of 7 international road safety organizations.
Anne Marie pioneered the Sweet Life Road Show – an interactive day of road safety programming for high school students. The Sweet Life Road Show travels from school to school and targets the top 10 road safety risks in a high-energy, hands-on manner. She has been able to engage students, safety professionals, educators and sponsors to provide this highly educational and lifesaving day free of charge to schools.
In the spring of 2014, Anne Marie Hayes brought Sweet Life Road Show to St Augustine Secondary School in Brampton where hundreds of high school students took part in her innovative event.
Her goal is to have road safety education become an integral part of every Ontario high school’s curriculum. We admire your dedication, Anne Marie and thank you for keeping young drivers and pedestrians safe from harm.
2014 Emergency Preparedness Award
When a devastating ice storm struck Brampton in December, 2013, Sean Large and his Emergency Services Team from St. John Ambulance sprung into action. They gave selflessly of their time and skills to help run temporary warming stations across the city. These stations provided warm, safe places for residents who were without power in their homes. Sean and his team took on the night shifts during the Christmas period, giving up family time to run these vital centres until electrical power was restored on December 29.
Thank you Sean for your leadership and dedication in keeping Brampton citizens safe during this crisis.
2014 Gael Miles Youth Award for Safety
Raymond and Jenalyn Saraza-Pacheco
Brampton teen siblings Raymond and Jenalyn Saraza-Pacheco are the World Junior Champions in Salsa, with 24 additional national & international titles, performing around the globe. Raymond and Jenalyn, now 16 and 13 years of age respectively, have both been bullied and made fun of for their dance activities at times while growing up-- especially Raymond. They found ways to deal with these adversities and since then have talked in public and used their dance shows at community events and school to send a message that no one is alone. They inform other youths to ask for help, and to tell people when being bullied; there is help out there, with friends, family and teachers.
Jenalyn and Raymond have done countless performances in the Brampton community to audiences young and old, talking about how they have used their dance. Jenalyn has taken an active role in showcasing issues about domestic violence with her Ballroom dance, creating a unique and emotional routine that she is performing for the World Championships in Holland this fall. Locally, nationally and overseas these two young rising stars are showing the world how they use their talents to promote safety and healthy environments.
2014 Business Award for Safety
T. A . Brannon Steel
T.A. Brannon Steel has been a dynamic Brampton business since 1968. This steel manufacturing operation has seen tremendous growth in the past decade, and now employs more than 170 people with shifts running 24 hours/day. Employee safety is paramount at Brannon Steel. With a mix of seasoned and new employees working together in a busy manufacturing environment, health & safety training is ongoing. The company has an 8-member health & safety committee, and implements a strong communications strategy to keep every employee aware of workplace hazards.
T.A. Brannon Steel’s commitment doesn’t stop at the end of their work day. They encourage employees to use their safety skills and knowledge off-the-job to keep their homes and families safe as well. Brannon Steel employees also support many local charities including Brampton Excelsiors and other local sports teams, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel, William Osler and Headwaters Hospitals, Sick Kids Foundation, Brampton Progress Club and more. Congratulations to the managers and employees of T.A. Brannon Steel for your commitment to safety, and thank you for your contributions to making our city a great place to live and work.