The MacGregor Fire Department has been under the helm of Chief Chris Leckie for 16 years, and it was 14 years before that when he first joined the team. A celebration was held Saturday night, and among the highlights of all members, including those of the Austin Fire Department, receiving recognition pins, there was honour and recognition given to Leckie for his 30 years of service.
"It feels good to be recognized and appreciated for the years of service and not just for myself, but for all of our members that have put in the years and the dedication," explains Leckie. "From 30 years ago when I started, you always remember your first call that you've been on and it's always when you start then. I've been mentored by many other firefighters that have since retired and moved on. We've seen a lot of a lot of changes in the past 30 years with equipment, technology and just upgrades that we've done here within our department. That's been huge for our members to do their job easier and just the way that the tools and technology has changed over the past 30 years is quite impressive."
Leckie reflects over the years and says many tragedies have taken place, and there are so many, that no single one stands out. He remembers serious collisions that remain in his mind, and there have been businesses that were burned and no longer remain.
"It's always been on the back of my mind that if you enjoy something, and you just want to give back to your community, it feels good that I've been able to do it this long," continues Leckie. "I started fairly early, so I do feel that I do have some time left in me to keep going. You never know where life takes you, but it's definitely an honour to continue to do the same thing going forward in the future."
He extends his appreciation.
"I'd just like to thank everybody for the years they put in," adds Leckie. "It's very important that all of our firefighters get recognized and I feel that that we're doing a good job of that. They don't go unnoticed. The incidents that they respond to at any time of night, whether it's cold or be hot outside, we're always on the go. So, just thanks again, and it's much appreciated for all our members to receive these appreciation awards."