Sylvan Lake is mourning the death of a local volunteer firefighter and paramedic who was once honoured for his bravery in helping RCMP catch a fleeing suspect.
Sylvan Lake Fire Department announced the firefighter’s passing in a Twitter post saying: “It is with a heavy heart we announce the loss of Firefighter Joey Manson, who passed away last night. Cause of death was not announced.
“Joey touched many lives with his infectious smile, personality, and service to this community. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragic loss.”
It is with a heavy heart we announce the loss of Firefighter Joey Manson, who passed away last night. Joey touched many lives with his infectious smile, personality, and service to this community. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragic loss.#sylvanlake pic.twitter.com/ebxddYS4va— Sylvan Lake Fire (@SylvanLakeFire) January 17, 2023
In 2014, Manson was recognized by Sylvan Lake RCMP for his quick thinking and courage in helping police catch a man who was running away from a police officer. When the officer’s knee gave way, Manson continued the pursuit.
Manson caught the prisoner and restrained him until police could take him into custody.
In a November 2014 ceremony, Sylvan Lake Staff Sgt. Gary Rhodes presented Manson with a certificate of appreciation for his help.
Manson was modest about his role.
“To be commended is quite a feeling,” he said at the time. “It could have been anybody else, but I just took the opportunity as I saw fit.”
Manson said he was just helping a colleague in need.
“We have such a strong camaraderie between all emergency services here,” he said.
Sylvan Lake Mayor Megan Hanson offered her condolences to Manson’s family on behalf of the town and council on Facebook.
“Joey has been a valuable member of our community, with a magnetic smile and a heart for service. He gave generously of his time and energy and has cared for Sylvan Lakers in their most vulnerable moments,” said Hanson.
“I give my thoughts and prayers to Joey’s family, and to the Sylvan Lake Fire Department and Sylvan Lake paramedics for losing a member of their close-knit family. Joey Manson, we will forever be grateful your service.”
All flags at town facilities have been lowered to half-staff to recognize Manson’s passing.
Condolences poured in from emergency responder colleagues.
“We stand beside and with you during these difficult times. Know that you are not alone,” tweeted City of Red Deer Fire Chief Ken McMullen.
Bentley Fire Chief Ian McLaren also offered his condolences. “We often had the privilege of working with Joey and he was a fantastic person. Rest easy, Joey.”
Kevin Halwa, a former Sylvan Lake RCMP officer, said: “1 huge loss not just to Sylvan Lake Fire, But for the whole community. My most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Department. Rest in peace my friend.”