News — 11 September 2014

By Dryden Observer Staff

After a long stint with no leadership, the Municipality of Machin has found a new Volunteer Fire Chief. Reagan Breeze, volunteer firefighter of 20 years stepped up to take the reigns and says he had applied for the chief position not to just “throw a feather in the cap”, but as an opportunity to challenge his skills and both show and teach his leadership skills to others within the department.

“I believe in loyalty to the fire service, having an open mind and listening to the firefighter’s comments or concerns make a fire department a place they want to belong too.”

Breeze says the transition was an easy one for him as he already knew a lot of the firefighters from working with them at vehicle collisions, on fires or personally and commends both the past fire chief and newly appointed Deputy Fire Chief, Cora McRae, on their creation of a positive work environment and commitment to the job.

“Last week was our first practice and we had a great turnout. The vision and leadership that is within this department already makes it a great place to work and the firefighters made me feel welcomed.”

After working with the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Oxdrift Fire Department and the City of Dryden Fire Services, Breeze says he is excited about the future and his new position.

“I told the firefighters the other day at practice that I have some great ideas for future training and to educate the community members on fire safety. I am a firm believer if you teach people about fire safety and make them passionate about it, most of the job is then done.”

Passion should come easy to this group, Reagan feels, as they (the firefighters) are a great bunch of people and highly respected for the job they do.

“It is a very busy hall and the people respect them as pillars within the community. That being said this is something that will not change, but be maintained. The municipality of Machin has an outstanding fire service and it is my pleasure to make sure that this will continue under my leadership.”

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Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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