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November 22, 2011
By Jennifer Grigg


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Nov. 22, 2011 – I’m willing to bet there is one in every fire department. There’s a good chance that there is more than one in every department, but definitely one that stands out in your mind.

Nov. 22, 2011 – I’m willing to bet there is one in every fire department. There’s a good chance that there is more than one in every department, but definitely one that stands out in your mind.

You’re probably asking yourself, “One what?” Either that or you may already be thinking, “Oh yeah, we’ve got a couple of those.”

We may have a couple of those too (of course I’m kidding, for any of you on my department that are reading this!), but what I’m talking about is the kind of firefighter that is always there and always willing to lend a hand. He has been on the department forever and he’s the type of guy that you are always happy to see in the hall or at a call. He has a calm and relaxed demeanour and is always pleasant to you. He’ll take the time to ask you how the kids are doing, find out what you’ve been up to and talk to you about the vehicle you drive (maybe even make fun of it a little). The really cool thing about talking to him (I realized in writing this) . . . he makes me feel like I never left. He’s just being himself, but because he is such a genuinely nice person, he makes everyone feel like they’re an old friend.

For as long as I’ve known him, and long before that, he has always gone to the community centre on Halloween in one of the fire trucks to give out candy to all the kids, probably going on 30 years now. Others may have joined him over the years but he’s the only one that is there every year and from what I understand, he buys the candy himself. And there he was again, out for the Santa Claus Parade yesterday in Port Severn, driving the tanker. He’s as much a fixture in the community as the fire department itself, and in fact, if I recall correctly, he is one of the first members. And man, has he got some stories to tell. I interviewed him once for a newsletter that we put together years ago, and the stuff he told me about . . . ah, but that’s another story . . .

Needless to say, I’ve noticed a few changes since I’ve returned to the fire department, which is understandable since I was away from it for four years, but it’s good to see some things don’t change, like Big Jim. He’s a big guy with a big heart that I consider myself very fortunate to know and to be on a fire department with.

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