The rural Elk Valley and South Country have a new fire chief, with deputy chief Michael Hockley stepping into the role as of Jan. 10.
Hockley became acting chief for the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Elk Valley and South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Services when chief Dave Boreen stepped down in October last year, and now he’s locked in.
“It’s a lot more responsibility. Right now I’m managing four paid on-call halls with approximately 65 members,” he said.
Hockley grew up in the area, and with a background in the armed forces (27 years), time spent working as a paid on-call firefighter in Alberta, and six years as deputy fire chief with the RDEK, he has a lot of experience behind him.
“I kind of went from one adrenaline job to another when I retired from the military,” he said.
Hockley said that in his role, there was nothing more satisfying than being able to help people.
“Being able to help the residents of the various communities I’ve worked in – that’s the key thing.”
First item on the agenda for now is to work on increasing membership with the Rural Fire and Rescue Services.
“My goal right now is to boost recruitment and retention numbers, and once we get that up and going we can look at other opportunities in the future.”
Chief Hockley will be working out of the Jaffray fire hall, and also manages the Baynes Lake, Elko and Hosmer fire halls.
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