August 18, 2018 3:37 pm
Updated: August 18, 2018 5:45 pm

‘They deserve to be supported’: First ever First Responders Appreciation Day held in N.S.

WATCH: Dozens of people braved the poor weather for the first ever First Responders Appreciation Day on Saturday. And as Natasha Pace reports, the event had a special significance in light of the recent shooting in Fredericton.

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People of all ages braved the cool, damp weather on Saturday to thank police officers, firefighters, paramedics and search and rescue volunteers at the first ever First Responders Appreciation Day.

The event was held in Lower Sackville, N.S., and was organized by Dave Wilson, an MLA and former paramedic.

“It’s amazing to see how appreciative they are towards our first responders and that’s really what this is all about,” said Wilson.

WATCH: ‘It’s never weak to speak’: First responders encouraged to seek help following fatal Nova Scotia fire


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The event offered a free barbecue there was also live entertainment, specifically by Kevin Davison.

In addition to being a paramedic and volunteer firefighter, Davison is also a country music singer who recently won an ECMA.

“When we have something like this for first responders, it’s, for us, that ‘thank you’ brings us back and brings us back to work so we very much appreciate it and that’s why I love being here today,” Davidson told Global News.

READ: Thousands attend funeral service for Fredericton officers who made ‘the ultimate sacrifice’

Community members had the chance to meet and greet various first responders, as well as check out some of their specialized equipment that was on display.

While the event was planned months in advance, it fell on the same day as the regimental funeral in New Brunswick for Constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello, who were killed in the line of duty in Fredericton.

“We would like to have a moment of silence for Const. Sara Mae Burns, Const. Rob Costello, civilians Bobbie Lee Wright and Donnie Robichaud. Please a moment of silence,” Wilson told the crowd before the event got started.

WATCH ABOVE: Husband of slain Fredericton officer Cst. Sara Burns bids tearful goodbye.

In addition to a moment of silence, a book of condolences was also on site for people to sign and express their grief.

“Our hearts go out to not only the first responders and their family but also the civilians that lost their lives,” said Wilson.

“It’s tough when the first responders community loses two members like that. It’s fresh in our minds, especially from Moncton a number of years ago so I think this day just adds to the importance of showing our appreciation and giving our thanks to those who put a uniform on and really protect us everyday.”

WATCH: Greg Morris, a family friend of Cst. Robb Costello, said that Costello “died doing what he lived and what he loved.”

While the tragedy was no doubt on the minds of everyone in attendance, one woman’s handmade “thank you” cards brought some smiles and helped to lift the spirits of first responders.

“Just everything that’s happened in Fredericton, and you know, they work hard. They deserve to be supported and thanked,” said local resident Anne Marie.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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