Meet our Members: Frank Assu
This week on Meet our Members, we interview new recruit Frank Assu!
CFR: Could you provide a brief background of your fire service career?
Prior to joining Comox Fire Rescue in April 2016, I had 5 years of work experience with the Canadian Coast Guard. I had to take marine emergency training in order to be hired with the coast guard. Part of that training involved firefighting. I had to don turn out gear and SCBA’s and then enter a simulated burning ship and perform basic skills. From there I had monthly experience with performing maintenance on fire fighter PPE and equipment, as well I was involved in fighting 2 vessel fires, both with fire extinguishers only, and did not don any PPE.
Approximately 17 years ago I also participated and assisted the facilitation of a home fire extinguisher course where I set up simulated fires that would be able to be put out by a home fire extinguisher.
I am in the first year of my recruit training with Comox Fire Rescue and am learning all the duties, procedures and nuances within the fire department.
CFR: Was there any specific event that first interested you in becoming a fire fighter?
I have always been interested in firefighting as profession since I was a child, and with my experience in the coast guard it gave me more knowledge and inspiration on what life as a fire fighter might be like.
I have been living in the Comox Valley since 2000 except for 2 years when I lived in Regina from 2014-2016. When I moved back to Comox in February 2016 I saw the advertisement for recruiting new fire fighters. I took this as a sign for me to get back involved in the community and to volunteer. I had volunteered with the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Comox for 3 years and wanted to get involved with some type of first responder role, I just wasn’t sure what. When I saw the poster for Comox Fire Rescue I immediately applied.
CFR: What is your favourite part of volunteering for Comox Fire Rescue (or working in the valley in general)?
To be able to give back to the community, help people in need and to form bonds and friendships with my colleagues in the Fire Dept.
CFR: Outside of the fire department, what are your interests/hobbies?
With a family of 4 children and 1 grandchild we are a busy household; though the three oldest are adults and on their own now. I enjoy going on hikes with my wife and children (mostly with our youngest), I am a member of the Comox Tennis club, enjoy fishing (salmon and prawns), bike riding and reading (anything related to history and novels for entertainment).
CFR: What are some major changes you have seen in the fire service industry during your career?
The advancement in technology has allowed fire fighters to be safer and able to perform their duties in a more efficient and effective manner.
CFR: If you could change one thing about the fire service, what would it be?
To ensure that all fire departments get the funding they need and deserve in order to deliver the service that they are trained for.
Chief Schreiner states: Frank has been a great addition to our team. He is very dedicated and is working towards his firefighter certification. Welcome Frank!