I am Lenard Ward and my wife and I moved to this community in 1976 and joined the Eston Fire Deptartment that November. I served as firefighter #8 and was promoted to deputy chief. After a number of years I am now back to being a firefighter and serve as #9.

Why did you join the department?

I joined the department because I am not sports oriented but felt a need to serve the community. I have never looked back and have never regretted my decision.

What is one of your most memorable moments?

I have many memorable moments, some bad and some good. It leaves you with a good feeling when you leave the rescue scene having helped trapped people get out of a vehicle and all are survivors. I have also had calls that are not pleasant but that is the job. Our department is like my second family. My other most pleasant memory is when the Town of Eston sent the chief and myself (as deputy) to Winnipeg to design our new firetruck with Fort Gary Industries. The town council made this happen and our department worked together to raise money for the truck which now sits proudly in our hall.

What is the biggest challenges facing fire services today?

Budget issues can be challenging. This is not a department issue but it affects the department. We also have a hard time recruiting and keeping members. COVID brings its own challenges, both personally and within the department. We didn’t create it but have to live with it.

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