Sidney Assistant Fire Chief Joe Geary is moving on after 11 years with the department, having accepted a position as fire chief with Christina Lake Fire Rescue. (Kristyn Anthony/News staff)

Sidney volunteer firefighter takes top job in Kootenay town

Assistant Fire Chief Joe Geary has accepted fire chief role in Christina Lake after a decade on the Peninsula

For more than a decade Joe Geary has volunteered countless hours to keep the residents of Sidney safe as the assistant fire chief, but the former plumber is moving on having accepted a position as the new fire chief in Christina Lake.

“I’m looking forward to it,” says Geary, who officially accepted the job offer Christmas Eve. “It’s time for a change. Time for me to move on in fire service.”

RELATED: Why are fire trucks across Greater Victoria different colours?

When the Island-born and raised 45-year-old sold Sidney Plumbing, his “day job” of more than 18 years, he knew it was time to pursue the dream of firefighting full time.

Suiting up alongside Sidney’s 40-odd firefighters, Geary has been on the scene for some of the more memorable fires the community has suffered, including the blaze that torched the Blue Peter Pub back in 2011 and the three yachts and boat houses that went up in flames at the Van Isle Marina in 2009.

RELATED: Fire destroys two Sidney businesses

Geary is humble when he speaks about his time with the department crediting its “excellent training program” for his growth as a firefighter.

“That’s what put me at the top for this job posting,” he says. “The education and experience I got with Sidney Fire is top notch.”

Fire Chief Brett Mikkelsen says Geary is one of the first members he has called upon to be dispatched to regions of the province where the Sidney department went to help fight wildfires the past two summers.

So, he’s well-versed in the skills required for that type of call, Mikkelson points out, more frequent in the Interior where Christina Lake is located.

RELATED: Coast Capital in Sidney honours ‘Giving Tuesday’

“The fact that he’s been able to acquire these considerable qualifications in such a short time is a real testament to his dedication and his work,” Mikkelsen says.

Creating an environment where a member like Geary can achieve that advanced level of certification as a fire officer is something the chief is proud of when it comes to the crew in Sidney.

“That’s not commonplace on the Peninsula,” he says. “Not every department affords those opportunities to their volunteer members.”

Mikkelsen, who calls Geary “a close friend,” plans to make the trek to the Kootenay town in the early spring to check in on him and see how things are going.

“I’m sure there will be a little bit of Sidney in the Christina Lake fire department,” Mikkelsen says, grinning.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Health Canada suspends Island pot producer’s licence following unannounced visit

Evergreen Medicinal Supply is working on “corrective action”

Victoria student out $600 for lack of e-bike insurance blames confusing rules

B.C. regulation says e-bike motors must turn off if rider stops pedalling, or bike must be insured

Saanich police ask for public’s help locating missing high risk youth

The 12-year-old was last seen before school on Monday morning

Flat tire, kindness of strangers, surprisingly inflate hope

Sooke mom and her daughters knocked on door of Bob and Norma Saunders seeking help

Ogden Point officially rebranded as The Breakwater District

New signage and logos accompany plans for the area’s future

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read