Amherstburg Fire Department

Amherstburg Fire Department launches new website



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Fire Department has launched its new website.

The new website, found at, was launched after the previous town council approved funding for it during the 2018 budget deliberations, said fire chief Bruce Montone.

“Back about one year ago, we were looking for more ways to connect with residents,” stated Montone. “We’ve been working on (the website) with a service provider for the better part of the last year.”

The new website features links to videos and articles on fire prevention, emergency preparedness, public education, and frequently asked questions (FAQs), said Montone, with multiple photos on the main page. There is also an opportunity to sign up to the Amherstburg Alert mass notification system through the website, he noted.

“There’s quite a variety of topics (the public) might be interested in,” said Montone.

One of the features Montone highlighted was the “Ask the Chief” component of the website, one where residents can pose him questions on fire-related topics. He noted the questions go directly to him.

“It’s about being accountable to the people paying the bills,” said Montone.

At this point, people who wish to apply for an open burn permit through the website are unable to do so but Montone is aiming to have that as one of the features added in the future.

“Down the road, our hope is that people will be able to apply for an open burn permit and pay for it online,” he said.

The fire department’s new website also includes the ability to read articles translated into other languages. Montone added there will also be a “firefighter traditions” section where people can learn about not only the history of their own fire department, but various other information on firefighting and its evolution.

“The primary focus of the site is to bring our service to the public in a more user-friendly manner,” said Montone.

Montone said he “wasn’t impressed” with the former website, which was a page found through the town’s website. The new website allows people to find more information and get what they need in an easier fashion.

SK student raises supplies, cash for hospitalized children



By Ron Giofu


A local senior kindergarten student has already done his part for his fellow youth.

Mathieu Kochaniec celebrated his sixth birthday over the weekend with not just a party, but a party that raised money, gift cards, toys, games, hygiene items and more for the paeditatric ward at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Metropolitan Campus.

“I’m going to give people gifts if they don’t have too much stuff,” explained Mathieu.

Six-year-old Mathieu Kochaniec held a birthday party on Sunday afternoon where he, with the help of friends and family, raised money and supplies for the paediatric ward at Windsor Regional Hospital.

Mathieu was inspired by a “Hats Off for Hunter” fundraiser at his school, St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in River Canard, in honour of a nine-year-old student who has brain cancer. Mathieu said he wanted to help people with cancer and that his mother Tina suggested he help hospitalized children through his birthday. He added that he hopes to raise money for the cause at a lemonade stand this summer.

“It makes me feel good,” he said.

“We’re very proud of him,” aid Tina. “He comes up with these ideas on his own. We try to help make it a reality and help him achieve his goal.”

As of early Sunday afternoon, he had raised about $415 in cash and about $260 in gift cards in addition to a large table with gifts on it. A portion of the proceeds and some of the toys were donated by Amherstburg Fire Station #2, where Mathieu’s father Pat is a firefighter. Other money and gifts were raised through family and friends with news of his generosity spread throughout his school.

Tina added they were pleased with the support and noted that “Mathieu is super excited to drop everything off at the hospital.”

Investigation ongoing into Malden Hill Dr. fire



By Ron Giofu


The investigation is continuing into a fire that occurred Wednesday night on Malden Hill Dr.

All three stations from the Amherstburg Fire Department responded to the call, which came in around 8:15 p.m. Assistant deputy fire chief Ron Meloche said crews were on hand until “close to midnight” putting the fire out.

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s (OFM) office was in Amherstburg later in the week to further investigate the fire. No damage estimate or cause was available as of press time, with fire officials stating that is part of the Ontario Fire Marshal’s investigation.

A 54-year-old Amherstburg man was transported to hospital with injuries. Meloche said the extent of the injuries was unknown and that he was the only person injured as a result of the fire.

More details are expected to be released upon the conclusion of the OFM’s investigation.

Firefighters hold annual “Stuff a Fire Truck” toy drive



By Christian Bouchard


For the fifth straight year, a fire truck was stuffed with toys for local families in need.

Mark Stock, a local firefighter in Amherstburg helped organize the annual Amherstburg “Stuff a Fire Truck” toy drive.

The toy drive is set up so local businesses and citizens can buy or donate toys to families within the community who are in need during the holiday seasons.

Once the toys are bought, Stock then drives a firetruck to various pickup locations throughout town to collect the toys. Each year, Stock said he is blown away with the generosity of the community.

“When we distribute the gifts, we get families in tears for their children,” said Stock. “It makes a huge difference in people’s lives.”

Movati was one of the stops on the “Stuff a Fire Truck” toy drive.

According to Stock, the gifts are distributed directly to the parents rather than the children with the intention of the parents to wrap the gifts and put them under the tree to keep the magic of Christmas alive.

“Imagine a parent on Christmas morning not having any presents for their kids and how bad they’d feel,” added Stock.

Stock made stops at multiple locations to pick up the gifts for the drive. Due to a large number of gifts, he eventually had to drop off the presents at the fire station in between trips as the toys donated wouldn’t fit in the fire truck.

“Every year it’s overwhelming the number of donations we receive from the people of Amherstburg,” said Stock.

Stock noted how thankful he was for the people of Amherstburg for giving from both their pockets and hearts. The firefighter said he loves the toy drive and wishes it continues to bring joy.

“It makes me feel like Santa days like today.”


Local store helps out with toys for Amherstburg Fire Department’s toy drive



By Ron Giofu


A local clothing store’s fashion show has turned into a Christmas donation that will benefit local children.

Déjà Vu New 2’s fashion show at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 in November generated the $500 that was used to purchase toys for local children. Store owner Kim Malega planned the fashion show with staff members Karen Sauro and Marita Wistuba but noted it was the generosity of her customers, including those who attended the fashion show, that made the donation possible.

“They did a great job. I’m proud of them,” said Malega. “We’ll do it again next year.”

Malega was pleased that the toys will stay local, adding they had a good time raising the money and enjoyed giving back to the town.

“The ladies that come in here are awesome,” she added. “They really get behind the store.”

Firefighters Adam Mann (left) and Mark Stock (right) accept Christmas gifts from Deja Vu New 2, represented by Marita Wistuba and Kim Malega.

The toys were picked up by members of the Amherstburg Fire Department. The Amherstburg Firefighters Association, who represents the members at the local fire department, are hosting their “Stuff a Fire Truck” toy drive again this year.

“It’s distributed through the Goodfellows and there are other families in need that contact us but are not through the Goodfellows,” explained Firefighter Mark Stock.

Stock and Firefighter Adam Mann were on hand Friday to pick up the toys from Déjà Vu New 2.

“We’re still looking for donations. We need donations for young teens. That’s where we are short,” said Stock.

Suggestions for young teens include retail gift cards, movie passes, electronics and manicure and spa certificates. The “Stuff a Fire Truck” toy drive includes youth up to 15-years-old, said Stock.

New, unwrapped toys will be accepted at any of the three Amherstburg fire halls or at Canadian Tire, Movati Fitness or the Amherstburg Health Care Centre. Please do not donate stuffed animals. Cash donations are accepted, however.