From left Duane Bell, Fire Chief Brent Baker, Deputy Chief Billy McGinnis present Aaron Rodgers with Tofino’s Firefighter of the Year Award for 2018. (Photo - John Forde)

Tofino cheers volunteer firefighter of the year

Aaron Rodgers’ dedication heralded by his peers.

Aaron Rodgers is Tofino’s 2018 firefighter of the year.

The award is voted on by all 30 members of the Tofino Volunteer Fire Department and announced at the department’s annual Christmas party.

“It’s something that the entire department rallies around,” Tofino fire chief Brent Baker told the Westerly News. “It’s an emotional thing to find out you’ve been nominated by your peers as being one of the outstanding members for that year. It means a lot in a lot of different ways to every person that receives it.”

The award was launched in 1983—Jim McBride was the first recipient—and recognizes a member who shows exemplary dedication and camaraderie within the department.

“In general, it’s somebody who’s passionate, somebody who is here consistently, is committed, really hard working, demonstrating leadership and making efforts to move the department forward as a whole. And, that’s Aaron Rodgers in a nutshell,” Baker said. “He’s got an extremely high turnout percentage for calls. He’s very reliable, very capable, wants to learn more, wants to improve and he pushes himself and those around him to achieve greater things.”

Rodgers told the Westerly News he felt “humbled and honoured” that his fellow firefighters chose him for the honour.

“It means a lot to me that my peers saw fit to vote for me. I can’t express how much I appreciate that,” he said. “It’s obviously nice to get recognition from people you have a lot of respect for.”

Along with receiving a plaque and having his name placed on a larger plaque inside the fire hall that lists every member who’s ever received the award, Rodgers was also gifted with a unique knife made from a leaf spring taken from a decommissioned rescue van.

“It’s a spectacular piece of work so Aaron’s got a gift that will probably last forever,” Baker said.

Rodgers said he quickly put his prize to use.

“I’ve already started using it and I use it all the time,” he said.

“It’s a chef’s knife so I’ve been using it to make dinner for the family. It’s going to be a family heirloom. It’s going to get all nicked and worked through and greasy and awesome.”

Rodgers, a father of two who works in the district office as Tofino’s manager of community sustainability, celebrated his five-year anniversary with the fire department this year and said he is grateful to his family and employer for giving him the space to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“I’ve been lucky in my life to have the opportunity that I’ve had and a lot of that has to do with moving to Tofino and being successful here,” he said. “Once my kids were old enough for me to get out of the house, [volunteering for the fire department] was one way I could start to give back to the community that’s given me and my family so much.”

READ MORE: Tofino honours volunteer firefighters with award

READ MORE: Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade basking in local support

READ MORE: Tofino and Ucluelet fire crews tackle blaze at historic Solwood property



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations councillor says ‘Hereditary chiefs have the ultimate power’

Ahousaht future hereditary chief Jaiden George explains Indigenous governance.

Major renovations underway at Ucluelet Co-op

“People are going to be really pleased with what they see.”

Ucluelet pursues $8M water upgrade

Project aims to expand water capacity while tackling town’s brown water woes.

A.W. Neill removed from Port Alberni elementary school

School District 70 board votes to retain the name Ucluelet Secondary School

Community mourns West Coast’s kind and generous Rita Driver

“She touched a lot of people’s lives and hearts.”

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Most Read