Ian Flood has been honoured as the Firefighter of the Year with the Hay River Fire Department.
Flood, who has been a member of the department for just over three years, received the award on Dec. 10 at the annual Firefighters’ Ball.
“I was really surprised, a bit shocked, I guess,” he said of his reaction to being honoured.
Flood was recognized for his dedicated involvement with the volunteer department.
“I always think it’s a good thing to give back to people in one way or another, maybe to people who are not as fortunate as yourself or in other ways, and I thought the fire department is a good opportunity to give back,” he told The Hub. “It’s also a good way to learn a lot of new skills, I think, not only just on the fire side of it, but also on the emergency medical responder side of it, because we do both.”
Fire Chief Ross Potter pointed out the Firefighter of the Year award is voted on by the members of the department.
“We pretty much have a good idea who’s doing what within the department, and Ian has been really solid this year on doing not only calls, but being involved in an awful lot of the training and that kind of thing,” said Potter. “And it was very recognizable by everybody, and he was nominated by a number of people on the department to receive the award.”
The fire chief explained Flood completed the National Fire Prevention Association professional certification and also within the last year or so completed training as an emergency medical responder.
“His interest in the fire department has taken him into most of the training that’s been out there for him,” said Potter.
He added that Flood had over 282 documented hours of volunteer service to the department and attended a minimum of 145 different functions, such as training, calls and other activities.
“He’s quite committed to the department, for sure,” said Potter. “He was most deserving of the award. There’s no question of that in my mind.”
Flood arrived in Hay River about five years ago from the United Kingdom, where he lived in larger communities with professional fire departments and he never had the opportunity to be a volunteer firefighter.
“I never lived in a small town in the U.K.,” he said. “I believe some might have volunteer fire departments, but I never lived in a small town where they might have them.”
Flood was in Hay River for two years before discovering at the annual Make the Connection Night that he could volunteer to serve on the fire department, and he did so right away.
As for why he has become so involved in the fire department, he explained, “I guess I’m always keen to learn new stuff. The more you get involved, the more you learn, basically.”
Flood, a project manager with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation, is now 58.
That means he was 55 when he joined the fire department.
And he said he hopes that sets an example for younger people, adding, “If I can do it at my age, I’m sure you can do it your age.”