Golden’s fire department has a rich history that dates back to 1898 and former firefighter Mike Archibald has put all of that history in one place with his book, titled On Scene.
“If you walk through the fire department you can see a number of pictures from over the years and we had a number of photo albums…I thought there was an opportunity to sort of take some of these photos and do something with it,” Archibald explained.
Archibald begins the book by recounting his introduction to the local department in 2002. When he and his daughter, Madeline, were passing by the station, she asked if they could take a ride in one of the department’s giant, bright red fire engines. The joyride recaptured some of Archibald’s childhood dreams of becoming a firefighter and spurred him onto over a decade of service, eventually rising to the rank of Captain.
Once Jim Hein left the department, Archibald took over as the de facto historian. He began consulting late Fire Chief Ken McClure a couple years ago and started to put the department’s history together in a book.
On Scene is designed to give locals a better sense of the department’s past, present and future and chronicles some of the biggest firefighting operations since its inception over 100 years ago.
“There’s a section of the book about the apparatus of the hall, the training procedures, and the types of calls that we go on,” Archibald said.
Numerous photos fill its 140 glossy pages, including pictures of firefighters of the past and present and closer looks at the department’s equipment over the years, all the way up to its latest acquisition, Rescue 120.
“The goal was to be able to tell the story of the Golden fire hall but also to preserve a lot of the memories of that place instead of having the photos sit in a filing cabinet drawer. This is a way for people to share the experiences,” Archibald said.
Archibald retired from active duty at the end of 2014 and sees this as a form of closure for his long stint with the department.
“It was a significant part of my life,” he said.
“I’m leaving on a high note…for me it is a sense of closure. It kind of wraps everything up and allows me to look back on things with fond memories and enjoy the time that I had there.”
The book was published by Blurb, with all sales being done through their website at www.blurb.ca/b/5991471-on-scene.