Friday, November 27, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Thursday, November 26, 2009

A new Deputy Fire Chief takes up his duties, community groups may have to get by with less in 2010 and a Nisga'a leader passes away, some of the items of note for Thursday.

The Daily News, Front page, headline story
NEW DEPUTY FIRECHIEF MAKES THE ROUNDS--We follow the recently promoted Jeff Beckwith around a Pineridge classroom, as the Daily News profiles the new Deputy chief of the Prince Rupert Fire Rescue Department.

Local organizations might have to make do with less next year, that as Prince Rupert City council outlines how the current financial picture for the city could result in grant reductions of up to 25 per cent for those community organizations that receive them.

While Prince Rupert and the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional district keep busy writing letters to the Prime Minister calling for a comprehensive review of the Enbridge Gateway project, their efforts may not be greeted with universal appreciation in Kitimat and Terrace. The different thoughts on the need for a full and complete inquiry are examined with a page three story.

The Sports section featured coverage of the lighting of the BC Northern Winter Games torch this week as well as the weekly review of action in the Prince Rupert Minor Basketball Association.

(Daily News Archive Articles links for November 26th )

The Northern View
Port Edward votes to study options to keep its school open -- With School District 52 moving on its agenda of school consolidation and potential closures, Port Edward is preparing its case to keep its school a going concern (see article here)

Nisga'a President Passes Away -- The Nisga'a nation is in mourning today, as a long time fixture on the political scene, President Nelson Leeson passed away on Thursday in a Prince George Hospital. (see article here)

Billet Families Needed as 2010 Northern Winter Games Approach -- The push is on to secure billet families for competitors in the Northern Winter Games, with only 12 of the 400 billets required secured so far, the organizing committee is looking impress on the community of the need to register now (see article here)

CBC Radio British Columbia, Daybreak North
Olympic benefits to the north -- John Furlong CEO of the organizing committee for the 2010 Olympic games outlines what he believes will be the benefits for the north in February's event (listen to the interview here)

Daily News, Front page, headline story
New Deputy Firechief makes the rounds
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Thursday, November 26, 2009

On Nov. 10 Jeff Beckwith became Prince Rupert’s new Deputy Fire Chief.

Beckwith has been with the Prince Rupert Fire Rescue department for ten years and said he loves his new job.

“I don’t think you could have a better job,” he said this week. “I started my career with the Prince Rupert Fire Rescue Department in the summer of 1999 as a relief firefighter, where I worked as a casual employee filling in for holiday and sick leave for the permanent staff,” Beckwith said Tuesday.

At that time, he knew there would be a full time position becoming available the following summer because one of the captains was retiring, and the opportunity inspired Beckwith to attend the Alberta Fire Training School, now called Fire Etc.

He completed the NFPA 1001 Standard for Professional Firefighters in the spring of 2000, and was hired as a full time firefighter in August 2000.

Five years ago, Beckwith approached then Fire Chief Ron Miller, and said he was interested in enrolling in the four-year Bachelor of Applied Business: Emergency Services Degree Program offered through Lakeland College, also in Alberta, for firefighters, paramedics, police and military personnel.

“This course was a challenging 4 years long, but I knew that once completed, it would give me an opportunity to apply for the Deputy Chief’s position when it became vacant this past summer,” Beckwith said.

On Tuesday Beckwith, along with fellow firefighters Cpt. Calvin Thompson, Troy Leighton and Remo Pomponio visited Mavis Glencross’s grade three/four class at Pineridge Elementary.

The students had created a character made of paper called ‘Flat Stanley’ that they had dropped off at the Fire Hall on Nov. 19 to accompany the firefighters on their daily routine.

Tuesday’s visit was about returning Flat Stanley, but it was also an opportunity to show the students the fire department’s Thermal Imaging Camera, an instrument used to locate people in a burning building when the smoke is too thick to see.

“In Kindergarten the students start out with us and by the time they are [in] Grades three and four, they have seen everything we do, so we thought we’d bring in the TIC. It’s something the older kids would appreciate,” Beckwith explained.

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