A new opportunity to help, to grow, to test oneself

Written By: AFCA | Posted On: January 30, 2013

My story I would think is similar to many. I was 48 at the time and starting to think about what sort of community activities could I be involved in? My wife has been involved with Libraries for many years already but I wanted something more active. I am a traditional Russian Orthodox priest in my “civil” position and have to deal with people on a mainly emotional level, but always had a part of my character that desired to be in physically challenging situations.  One day I heard rumours of a possible Search and Rescue team starting up in our area. So by chance I ran into one fellow in town who knew “everyone and everything going on” and asked him. He told me “Well, I don’t know about that, but why don’t you join the Fire department? I am the Deputy Chief!” So I went to the regular meeting later that week and as it was “in those days” I walked out with a pager with gear assigned and was good to go! My first call came about a week later. I still remember the feeling of passing through the police traffic control and being assigned to be with a senior member helping out on an accident scene. It was that moment I realized that this was exactly what I was looking for… to be directly involved with helping our community and at the same time fulfilling a deep desire in my life to be active in situations where I would be tested and given different opportunities to grow in courage, resolve, determination, and strength.

Since that time six years ago I have taken many courses made available to all our members, have devoured many magazines and websites dealing with Strategy and attended hundreds of calls. Last year I was promoted to position of Captain. The last two years I have been active with our county’s Firefit team (looking forward to this year!!).  Being a volunteer firefighter has been a tremendously rewarding experience for me, far beyond what I thought it would ever be. Every time the pager goes off, it is a new opportunity to help, to grow, to test oneself.”


Andrew Kencis, Captain, Volunteer Firefighter
Yellowhead County

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