Meet our Members: Mario Chretien
Could you provide a brief background of your fire service career?
I started my firefighting career in June 2008 after graduating from Pre-Service fire and education program at Lambton College in Sarnia, ON.
From that day on I volunteered for West Nipissing Fire Service until March 2009 when I accepted a full time Firefighter position with the Canadian Armed Forces. In 2010 I received my first posting in the beautiful Comox Valley. In October 2012 I started my Paid-on-Call journey with Comox Fire Rescue. 2016 was posted to the Canadian Forces Fire and CBRN Academy in Borden Ontario. In August 2018, I returned to Comox Valley and Comox Fire Rescue.
Was there any specific event that first interested you in becoming a fire fighter?
My father was a volunteer Captain back home in Verner, ON. We always used to head to the fire hall when he got paged out. Since then I wanted to be a firefighter and be the one who responds to the public’s call.
What is your favourite part of volunteering for Comox Fire Rescue?
My favourite part of being a volunteer at Comox Fire Rescue is being part of a extraordinary team while learning and training in our own backyard.
Outside of the fire department, what are your interests/hobbies?
I have several hobbies outside hall. Spending time with my gorgeous little family. And a variety of sports in the valley from hockey to softball to mountain biking.
What are some major changes you have seen in the fire service industry during your career?
Some of the few changes I noticed in he fire service thus far would be the technology. The advancement of technology in the fire service has been a game changer all together. From getting information on our way to the scene to having a integrated thermal imaging camera in our SCBAs. Technology in a lot of ways allow firefighters to better serve their community as well as protecting them while serving.
Another major change have noticed is the training for our mental health. During my young career I’ve noticed the Fire service develop several different courses for firefighters to better prepare themselves mentally as well as how to recognize some symptoms after a traumatic experience. By doing this I believe we are keeping our firefighters healthier as well as battling the stigma around the subject.
What do you look forward to the most for your future Fire Fighter career?
What I look forward the most in my firefighting career is learning as much as I can from every different firefighter I have the privilege to meet and work with. I also look forward to serve the beautiful town of Comox for a very long time!
Chief Schreiner states: "We are very happy to have Mario return to Comox Fire Rescue. He brings with him lots of dedication and commitment as well as being a strong role model for others. It is people like Mario that makes this such a great department."