Meet our Members: Jon Watkins
This week on Meet our Members, we interview 2017 Rookie of the Year Jon Watkins!
CFR: Could you provide a brief background of your fire service career?
I have only just completed one year in the fire service and I anticipate that this is the first of many. I have learned a vast amount about the fire service from some fantastic instructors here while getting great experience to a wide variety of calls. In addition to this I have been able to train in hazmat awareness and operations, live fire scenarios, survival techniques and rescue training, structure protection training (and deployment), medical first responder training and so much more. I have found very quickly that being a member of Comox Fire Rescue is an incredibly rewarding path.
CFR: Was there any specific event that first interested you in becoming a fire fighter?
There was no single event that interested me in becoming a firefighter however, I am glad I decided to put an application in. Having one year in the service has certainly made me interested in learning as much as I can and furthering my knowledge and experience in the fire service! I would encourage anyone who is on the fence to put an application in, it is by far one of the best decisions I have ever made.
CFR: What is your favourite part of volunteering for Comox Fire Rescue (or working in the valley in general)?
Certainly the camaraderie, whether its training, doing fitness, sharing a meal, or working on a stressful call I can trust any member here as much as any other. We all look out for one another which makes for a fantastic work environment.
CFR: Outside of the fire department, what are your interests/hobbies?
(When I’m not working) I enjoy kayaking, hiking or playing ultimate frisbee.
CFR: What are some major changes you have seen in the fire service industry during your career?
Although I have only been in the industry for a short time, I can see how many new technologies are rapidly emerging and have the potential to change the work firefighters perform and how they will perform it in the near future. Comox Fire Rescue certainly takes a proactive approach to this which is hugely beneficial to learning, as we have even more tools to train and operate with.
CFR: If you could change one thing about the fire service, what would it be?
More public education and awareness. Before I joined the fire service I had no idea how complex and in depth the industry and the trade of fire fighting is. I’m looking forward to further developing my skills and completing my NFPA 1001’s.
Chief Schreiner states, "Jon has been a great addition to our team. He has proven to be a very capable and dedicated member. It is because of people like Jon that we have a great department and can provide outstanding services to our citizens."