To me, it’s my way of giving back to the Department that gives me so much. And it’s also a way for me to pay a little bit of honour to my Granddad, who fought in the Second World War.
At the time of the Honour Guard’s inception, there were no female firefighters, let alone Honour Guard members. Thankfully that’s changed. Like many of the Honour Guard, Jennifer Hall’s desire to serve stems from her family and friends. A family background of armed service is honoured by embracing the military traditions of the Guard. Her grandfather served during World War Two, and uniformed service in the Honour Guard pays tribute to the past.
The tragic passing of her mentor, Randy Segboer, was another inspiration for joining. Randy played a huge role in the training of Alberta’s firefighters. The Guard embodies the values of teamwork, respect, and integrity, which he taught to recruits. Membership provides a link between past and present, respecting all fire and service personnel and the sacrifices made for the community.
As well as being able to remember cherished colleagues, many Guard members enjoy the camaraderie which comes with being in the unit. Drill training and events are a great opportunity to get to know people away from the fire hall floor, and have a little fun in an atmosphere that’s much more relaxed. The goals of the Guard transcend rank and gender, and community spirit is in full display during travel and training. Such moments offer respite from the strong emotional toll of the job, and a level of informality not always associated with the Fire Department.