Comox Fire Rescue Fire Prevention Week Open House 13th October 2018 from 11 am to 4 pm. Come and meet your Comox Fire Rescue firefighters and see the Station.
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."
Comox Fire Rescue is offering FREE “Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program” (NEPP).
Experience has shown that after a disaster, it may take three or more days for emergency services to reach many of the neighbourhoods and individuals. The NEPP program is designed to provide information, training and skills necessary for individuals and neighbourhoods to be self-sufficient after a disaster.
NEPP programs are scheduled at the Comox Fire Station on:
Friday, Sept. 14th, at 10 am
Friday, October 12, at 10 am
Friday, Novermber 16, at 12 pm
Sessions are free. Contact the Comox Community Centre at 250-339-2255 to register.
This week we meet our current Work Experience Program member - Jesse Peterson.
CFR: Could you provide a brief background of your fire service career?
Just as the question states, my background in the fire service is “brief”...for now. The start of my fire service career started when I joined Comox Fire Rescue two months ago. Before joining CFR, I completed my NFPA 1001 training in 2016 in Maple Ridge and have since been working towards other certifications that are needed to become a career firefighter.
CFR: Was there any specific event that first interested you in becoming a firefighter?
There was really nothing specific that first got me interested in the fire service. It was more of a build up over time by working in industries that weren’t meaningful to me. However, all my previous positions have been centered around service. By working as a firefighter, you serve others in the highest way possible, but it also serves ourselves in an amazing way. There is a big part of us that wants to serve the community we live in and by doing this it helps us become better in many different ways. Better people make better firefighters and this career helps improve both in our work and our personal lives. Working in business was certainly missing these elements.
CFR: What is your favourite part of volunteering for Comox Fire Rescue (or working in the valley in general)?
So far, working with Comox Fire Rescue has been amazing and I feel extremely lucky and grateful for this opportunity. I can’t pick out one specific thing to call my favorite as I have enjoyed everything so far, even scrubbing toilets. I have been very impressed with how up to date (or ahead) Comox is in regards to their facilities, training, tools, procedures, technology, etc. The members here are even better. Their reputation certainly precedes them and they are no doubt one of the most forward thinking departments in Canada and I am glad to be a part of it.
CFR: Outside of the fire department, what are your interests/hobbies?
Outside of the department, my main hobbies include golf, skiing, mountain biking, and spending time in the gym.
CFR: What are some major changes you have seen in the fire service industry during your career?
Since I have only been in the fire service a short time, I haven’t experienced or have gone through any major changes. That being said, this is the start of my career and I am sure major changes will come because this industry is about continuous improvement and being the best at what we do.
Every two years (since 2000) Comox Fire Rescue has hosted a 4 day Firefighter Youth Camp for approximately 36 Comox Valley high school students. The camp is open to both males and female students in grades 11 and 12. Applications and selections are done by the Work Experience staff in the high schools. The camps are offered every other year on even years. The goal of this camp is to provide significant learning and life experience and provide skills and attitudes that can be applied now and later in life.
The countdown is on! Here are some photos from the 2016 camp: