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Stewart also has experience as a Technician with the Justice Institute of BC at their Fire Training Facility in Maple Ridge and as a Crash Rescue Firefighter with the Abbotsford Airport.
In December 2019, he was tapped to be the head of Melfort’s Fire and Rescue service.
“It was the next part of my growth within the Fire Service and a challenge I had set out for myself to eventually become a Chief,” said Stewart. “My 22 year old daughter was actually the one who showed me the ad for the position here in Melfort and the support from my family to apply was amazing.”
As the leader of a group that can come into some dangerous situations, Stewart has an obvious first priority.
“My number one priority is that everyone goes home safe,” he said. “That can be achieved with a solid training program within the fire department and not only my goal but my officer’s goal as well, is to have one of the best trained departments in Saskatchewan.
Melfort Fire and Rescue currently has 20 members but they are looking to add six to eight more firefighters with a fall recruitment drive coming up soon.
As the head of the City’s Department of Protective Services, Stewart is responsible for more than just running the fire department, he also oversees bylaw enforcement which means a challenging balance between the two roles.
He is enjoying his new role and the added responsibility, however.
“The transition has been great. I have fantastic people I work with in City Hall and the members of the Fire Department are an amazing group of dedicated individuals that I am proud to have become part of,” said Stewart.
There are other benefits to his job as well, he explained. One, he gets to be out and visible in the community which helps reach people with a crucial component of fire safety; fire education.
“Being visible and approachable goes a long way,” Stewart said, “and being able to work with the incredible group of individuals within the Melfort Fire Department. The wealth of knowledge is exceptional and when that knowledge gets shared it helps make all the members stronger and progress further along in their own Firefighting careers.”