I think the Honour Guard is a formal way for the Fire Department to represent at various functions. It’s sort of, I would say, a manner that the Fire Department uses to represent the 4 core values, captures everything, bridges between the firefighters and admin, it’s sort of like an all encompassing group. It’s like a formal representation.
Why did you join the Honour Guard?
Well, for a few reasons. One was, I wanted to get involved. I tried the Pipes and Drums band, I just wasn’t good enough, I couldn’t figure it out. And then, I just wanted to get involved. You see the Honour Guard out at various events and I think it looks sharp, you know, I like, I like the feeling of pride that you see when you see the uniform. I think that’s cool. It feels good to see that representation. The other thing was, we had a, I volunteered for a number of years at a small town Fire Department, and we had, it was a busy little hall. We had a Deputy Chief, who was also a teacher up there, we were all volunteer firefighters. But he was a teacher in the high school, I taught in the Elementary school. We were good buddies, hung out. He went diving by himself, and drowned in a lake just outside of town. He had another guy on the shore, it’s a long story. Anyways, we did our best Honour Guard for him; we draped the trucks with black cloth. It just, I didn’t feel like we presented as well as we could have. We did the best we could, having never done anything like that before on the department. So I was interested in the whole process, and how it goes, how it’s supposed to happen. And that’s intrigued me, that’s another reason why I got on the Honour Guard.
How did participation in the Honour Guard affect you?
Well, I’m not certain I can accurately answer that. I haven’t been on for the calendar year yet. But, I will, or I could guess as to how it might. I think that after 10 years or so of being on the Honour Guard, I think that’d be a good snapshot of time to be able to summarise how it’s affected you. And I certainly think that it would instill pride, and quite likely a deep sense of pride in the position, in the job, and that type of thing.
Is there a specific event or ceremony that holds special meaning?
When I first got on, the Honour Guard sent a crew of members up to Edmonton for the, there was a young fella, a young Edmonton Police Officer that was killed in the line of duty, and it was pretty profound. It was a pretty moving, I found it was quite a moving ceremony. We all huddled up together from departments all around the province and country. You know, a representative from New York, I think there were some other international firefighters that were there, and then the RCMP of course had a presence at that march into the centre where we had the memorial. It was pretty moving. And the whole event, it was powerful to be a part of it. So having not been on for a calendar year, that would have been, so far, the most influential thing that I’ve been to.