Former Tumbler Ridge Fire Chief Gordon (Shorty) Smith was in Tumbler Ridge on June 29th for both business and pleasure. He was asked to come for the First Responders Level 3 testing that is required to recertify volunteer firefighters in town. Seven of the 15 members completed their testing, with plans to test the rookies in the near future. Deputy Fire Chief Matt Treitt is the instructor for Tumbler Ridge Department and therefore is not permitted to test his own students. He and Smith joined up to share the responsibilities in each other?s departments. Smith is the Fire Chief for the Dawson Creek Fire Department.
Unbeknownst to Smith he was about to find out his former team of firefighters had jointly decided to dedicate the training room at the fire hall in his name. Following his last testing of the firefighters, he was lead outside the hall, next to the fire engine. Uncertain of what awaited him, he later joked that he thought he was going to get a soaking with a hose.
Obviously humbled, Smith stood by as Fire Captain Diana Vandale and Deputy Treitt presented him with a plaque that will hang in the training room, following some needed improvements. The plaque, read out loud by Vandale said, ?This training room is dedicated to Gordon ?Shorty? Smith, in recognition of his outstanding service in the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department, both as a firefighter; November 1987 to August 1998 and as the Fire Chief; August 1998 to May 2004.? Amidst congratulations from his former team, he shook hands and thanked everyone for the honour. Said Smith, ?Its nice to be recognized in this way. I?ve been gone for a year now, but its nice to know I?m not gone from the minds and hearts of the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department.? Always entertaining, Smith added, ?When I first walked in to the fire hall (earlier today), I checked to make sure my name was still on the plaque for the department pool tournament.?