One of the most interesting things about a volunteer fire department is finding out that almost everyone has a different background and job outside of the fire hall.
Take firefighter Jordan Bley — he’s a field maintenance supervisor at Teck Resources. Lt. Meagan Muff, meanwhile, is a paramedic in the Pass.
“My dad used to do this. I lived on Vancouver Island. So, I spent a lot of time in the fire hall growing up,” says Jordan. “He put a lot of time into it so I wanted to try it myself and give back to the community, as well.”
Like any job, and this could certainly be considered as one, even as a paid on-call volunteer, there’s a lot of learning. His superiors are noticing how fast he’s catching on.
“I guess, my leadership at Fording River is helping me in that,” Jordan concludes, when asked if there’s something he feels he brings to the role from outside of the hall.
A paramedic by day, or by night, depending on the shift, Meagan has always been close to the Rockies.
“I went to high school here in the Crowsnest Pass. I grew up as a child in Elkford but my family moved here when I was 13,” she says.
“I really love the mountains. My dad bought into a business here and we’ve never looked back.”
While Jordan was exposed to the fire hall at an early age, it wasn’t on Meagan’s radar until around 2007.
“It’s a funny story,” she says. “I didn’t even think about joining the fire department. I’m a paramedic [since 2006] and they had approached me and said my skills would be valuable on both sides. So, I gave it some thought, did the big application process and it’s been great. I’ve really loved it.”
As an officer, Meagan is always learning new things. “They offer quite a bit of training in the department. Every year, I try and take a course.”
That, she says, can be anything from classes on incident command to structural and wildland firefighting.
By being not only a fire department but a fire rescue as well, the call-outs can change from day to day.
“We do a lot of medical aids, car accidents and fires, obviously,” adds Jordan. They may also help with certain search and rescues.
With this being Fire Prevention Week, most fire halls will open their doors to the public and crews will visit area schools, highlighting the importance of fire safety. It’s also a chance for departments, like Crowsnest, to show the importance and need to have a strong volunteer component.
“I think everybody has a unique skill set to bring to the fire department. I always like to think no person is an island, we all work as a team,” Meagan contends.
“What Jordan brings, I definitely don’t have. I bring a strong medical background. Not everyone has those skills, so everyone has something [different] to contribute.”
By Dave Lueneberg, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Oct 12, 2023 at 17:35