The Golden Fire Department’s volunteer firefighters welcomed their new Fire Chief to town a little over two weeks ago. Moving to Golden from Cumberland, BC, Chief Ken McClure is happy to be here and is looking forward to calling Golden home.
“I’m glad to be here, everyone has been great so far. I have always felt that family comes first over everything, and when I arrived here for our first training night on a Tuesday, I felt like I was joining another family here with the department. Everyone welcomed me with open arms,” Fire Chief Ken McClure said of his warm welcome.
Coming to Golden from Vancouver Island, McClure understands how unique the community and area in and around Golden is with regards to fighting fires. However, McClure’s 26-years of fire safety and suppression experience, six of which were as chief in Cumberland, certainly makes him suitable for any challenges that may come his way living in the Columbia Valley.
“There are definitely some unique challenges regarding fire safety and suppression in Golden. My experience will enable me to handle any of these new challenges. Being in an area like this I realize some unique challenges. I will have to bring up my education on how to handle possible train disasters and seeing as there are large amounts of propane in the community, I need to figure out what type of plans are in place to mitigate such risks,” McClure explained about how Golden differs from Cumberland.
Besides actual time spent in the field of action, McClure has also been recognized at an international level for his rescue efforts. With his experience in the field, Ken also carries the title of North American Champion for auto rescue; McClure is also the only Canadian fire officer to have a team place top three in a world competition.
“I have a lot of competition experience which I feel adds quite a bit to my overall knowledge and experience,” McClure said.
It is this type of experience that makes a regular, hardworking firefighter a chief, but even a chief relies on his team and gear. McClure was not only pleased by the dedicated, friendly bunch of volunteers that essentially make the Golden Fire Department what it is, but also at the high quality gear the community has at its disposal.
“Our equipment is top-notch. When you take that into consideration and match that with the committed team of firefighters, it makes me proud to walk in the doors. We have an important job to do in this community and I assure you that each and every one of us here will do their jobs in the most professional manner possible,” McClure said in a regal voice.
Beside battling blazes and educating the community, McClure is also excited to call Golden home for the same reasons many locals decided to call Golden home; outdoor recreation is how Ken likes to spend his time off. Be it fly fishing for trout, camping, or even a little skiing, there is no doubt that Ken, and his avid quilter of a wife Gaetane, will be finding themselves involved in many groups and activities around town.
“My wife and I are excited to be part of the community. We just sold our house, so the next step is to find one here. I think it will be an easy transition. The people here in the town are wonderful, and very easy to talk to,” McClure added, excited to start a new life in Golden.
So, Golden say hello to your new Fire Chief. Mr. McClure is a very approachable man who is always available to talk to about fire safety, or just to say hello. His kind demeanour and thorough knowledge of his profession is what will make him fit right in here in Golden. Welcome!