I think the bunch of people that build the Honour Guard are very special. Very special to me, very special to the department. With my travellings and so, we were able to support a lot of people, and give them a hand.
The Calgary Fire Department prides itself on being an international workforce, made up of firefighters from many backgrounds. The values of the profession cross local, national, and even international boundaries, binding colleagues across the world in a shared sense of pride and professionalism. The Honour Guard embodies these principles, and its members share a vast range of life experiences from other regions and nations.
Firefighter and Senior Driver Tobias Breuer is from Switzerland, and his experiences in Europe were central in his decision to join the Honour Guard. His firefighter patches, shown here, are a constant reminder of his past and present place in the firefighting community.
‘Cheese’, as Tobias is known across the department, formerly worked as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown. On his very first call, Tobias attended the aftermath of a massacre in his homeland, where 13 politicians died. This experience of dealing with the horrific aftermath of tragedy motivated him to join the Guard with the goal of helping others through dark times. Assisting families and friends in their grief isn’t an optional part of Guard duty, it’s the essence of it.
For Tobias, the connection between small town volunteers and professional units are something to be cherished and remembered, a fact reinforced by his very first Guard assignment- the funeral of 10 volunteer firefighters in Waco, Texas.