To serve, protect, and to remember.
Last week, EMS, police, and correction officers took to the ice at the Essex Centre Sports Complex to compete for bragging rights in the second annual Bildfell hockey tournament. They were also there to remember former the EMS Chief, after whom the tournament is named.
In 2015, retired Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Brian Bildfell lost his battle with cancer, but his memory lives on through those he worked with.
“He supported all his medics,” Essex’s Bev Bonneau, said. She was his administrative assistance.
This year’s tournament, the second annual, was expected to raise $2,500, more than double from last year. The proceeds will be donated to Hospice.
A total of eight teams took part in the tourney, including three from the Essex-Windsor EMS, C-K EMS, County of Lambton EMS, Southwest Regional Correctional Facility, and the OPP emergency services team.
“He was a strong advocate for paramedics. He treated his staff like family,” paramedic Shannon Ingall said, who helped organize the event.
Bildfell was only 63 when he lost his battle with brain cancer. Ingall said that she hopes the tournament lives on for his memory.
“It’s technically a rec tournament. It’s more for fun. It’s for the bragging rights,” she said just before the championship game.
A1 Chinese Food-Essex, Canadian Tire-Essex, Dan Kane Chevrolet, and Chochi’s Pizza-Essex teamed up to sponsor the event.
Bragging rights for this year’s tournament went to the SW Correctional Facility which edged the Essex-Windsor EMS team 5-2 in the final stanza.