Mark Watson has been volunteering at the fire hall in Qualicum Beach for 25 years and in July will be recognized at town council for his efforts.
“Normally the firefighters get either the provincial or federal service medal, but he (Watson) still contributed to the community through his service… we recognize him at the town level, which is 25 years,” said Chief Darryl Kohse.
“When I was 16-years-old I saw the guys practicing around the hall and I thought I’d come and see what they (the firefighters) do,” Watson said.
“One of our former members brought Mark in,” Kohse said.
Watson’s duties include looking after the bay, cleaning the halls, acting as security and going out on calls with the firefighters, Kohse said.
“I like hanging around the guys,” Watson said.
“We’re proud of Mark and his dedication. It’s not that often you find a volunteer who stays for 25 years,” Kohse said.
It’s believed Watson is the fourth longest-lasting member at the Qualicum Beach Fire Hall.
“I think the longest we’ve had is 38 years,” Kohse said. “The average firefighter is usually here for three to five years — 25 years is quite the milestone.”
In the next four to six weeks, the new fire hall will be completed on Rupert Road, Kohse said.
Watson said he is looking forward to working in the new fire hall.
The new fire hall will be approximately 1,400 sq. ft., as opposed to the old’s ones 700 sq. ft, Kohse said.
“I’ll have to get him (Watson) an assistant now,” Kohse said.
Watson volunteers his time on Thursday nights, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.