Two local volunteer firefighters were honoured Monday evening for five years of dedication to their community.
Both captains at the Eckville Fire Department, Ryan Dixon and Ryan Pregoda both joined for the same reasons – they wanted to protect their community and give back in a meaningful way.
Chief Stuart Carde, who has now been at the Department for 12 years himself, thanked Dixon and Pregoda for their service to the community and their dedication to the department.
“They have both become pillars to the fire departments having been in leadership roles for so long,” said Carde. “Five years is a long time to hold a volunteer position and we appreciate being able to have these two in leadership roles.”
Both Pregoda and Dixon have plans to stay at the department long term and have enjoyed their leadership roles. The process of becoming captain includes being voted in by your peers during an annual department election held in October.
To be voted in by their peers as captains reveals the respect in the role they carry with the department. In their roles as leaders with the department they are responsible for mentoring new recruits while also ensuring a variety of personality types blend together tranquilly.
“It’s good to take a leadership role and help the new recruits get trained up,” explained Pregoda. “The training is incredible, you really learn a lot. You learn pretty quickly there’s more to being a fire fighter than most people think. You get to experience so much and it’s really very rewarding.”
With a fire call potentially coming in at any hour of the day and night, being a volunteer firefighter can pose challenges.
Dixon added the time of the call will never matter to him, stating the desire to help is community is greater than comfort.
“I would just hope that one day if I’m ever in a car accident there is someone there to help me,” said Dixon on what has kept him with the department for the past five years. “It’s a very real thing – you get to experience both life and death as well as all of the moments in between.”
“It’s an amazing experience and if someone has the time I would highly encourage them to come out and give it a try.”
For more information on the Eckville Fire Department contact Chief Stuart Carde at 403 746 2551.