What in your opinion is the purpose of the Honour Guard?
It’s to provide tribute to a fallen firefighter, and to show love, respect, camaraderie to that firefighter, and to support his family in their time of funeral time, when he’s at his funeral. Originally, I believe, the Honour Guard started as that. Today it’s evolved into more, where we also do that but we also represent firefighters themselves at events, functions. And we also represent our union and the Fire Department
Do you have any memorable experiences regarding the Honour Guard?
Well, there are a few memorable experiences. Again, we talked about Morley James funeral, and Jake Peetman’s funeral, that had an effect on me. Some other memorable ones were, I forget the gentleman’s name, but he died, he was one of the two guys that died up north and his funeral was down here because he was from Calgary. Through being in charge of the Honour Guard and stuff like that, it was setting up the funeral right from the ground up, going through and putting it all together. Bringing other fire departments that were coming in, bringing them together, and that one is a more memorable one as well. And then we went up, I was part of the Honour Guard entourage when we went up to Cold Lake, they had a Firefighter die up there, and that was their first on duty fire death, and they had no idea how to run a funeral, what should be done, even where to start. So they called us up and we went up there, we discussed with them, discussed with their family what they wanted and literally set up a Line of Duty funeral for them up there. Those are very memorable because you get up there, and now you’re working with other firefighters, other departments, other personalities and stuff, and how they do. And just setting things up for the way they wanted it to do. So those were a couple of memorable things too. As for laughing and stuff like that, and getting around, when we do our drills. We drill once a month and they can turn in to quite a show. You know, you remember that sometimes you get some guys there, there’s lots of guys, and some of them don’t know how to march and they’re asking lots of questions and stuff, so you’re helping them out. Other times you get a smaller group, but they’re more guys that have experience, so you go into more intense kind of drill. Those are memorable stuff too, I like doing those as well. But generally speaking the whole time on it has been great.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, I retired recently, and I talked to Chief Burrell at the time because I wanted to stay on the Honour Guard, I still believe in what it does. I mean, I’m not an active firefighter but I can still participate in the Guard. And I’d just like to say that I’m glad that I could stay on the Guard and I will stay on the Guard as long as I, I guess as long as I can walk! I enjoy doing that stuff to represent the guys.