Slowing down as he gets older is not in the plans for 73-year-old Heinz Meyer, who recently completed the testing and is now a certified firefighter.
Meyer volunteers at the Fairmont Hots Springs fire department. When he was 70 his wife Ricky found out the department was having an open house and was looking for volunteers.
She suggested that it would be a good idea for her husband to drop by the event.
“There were a number of people there. We were shown around and the chief let us look at the trucks. We talked about many things and I asked if they had any use for me because I am 70,” Meyer said.
He went on to say that Fire Chief Jim Miller said that they would have a job for him, so on that day he became a volunteer with the department.
Since then he has never looked back and has worked very hard to train and help the group in any way he can.
Meyer is not the first member of his family to be a member in a volunteer fire department. Many years ago when he was living with his family in Germany, his brother was in a volunteer fire department.
“He was a teenager at the time. I did not have too much exposure to it. I just knew that when the alarm went off all the firefighters would run to the fire station because they wanted to find out who was going to drive the truck. That was the big thing,” said Meyer.
A love of the big red truck was also something that has driven Meyer over the years.
“It was an ambition of mine. I would tell people I would live to drive a big truck. Even if it was just around the block. I did not think I would get the chance to drive one. But here I got to drive the big fire engine,” said Meyer.
Ricky added that when Meyer had the chance to tell his children about the experience behind the wheel of the fire truck they were all happy and proud of their father.
Even though it has been a very different journey than he expected it would be, Meyer is thrilled with what he has learned and the experiences he has had over the last three years.
“My favourite part is that I can look in the mirror at my age and know I am still good for something. I can do something for the community that is valuable. I enjoy it. At first everyone is a stranger. In no time flat it becomes a big family,” said Meyer.