On Saturday, January 28, Captain Joe Holstein of the Crossfield Hearth Division might be receiving the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Alberta) throughout a ceremony at Redwood Meadows hosted by the Alberta Hearth Chiefs Affiliation. Captain Holstein has been a firefighter in Crossfield for 39 years, making him one of many longest-serving members of the division.
Holstein joined the fireplace service within the early Nineteen Eighties on the tender age of 15, and at one time throughout his tenure, he served because the division’s Chief.
“Rising up in Crossfield, it was a great way to get again to my neighborhood, and I simply love serving the neighborhood,” he mentioned. “I ended up staying and was capable of give 39 years of service to the city.”
Aside from the everyday duties a firefighter has, Holstein can also be deeply concerned in the neighborhood, together with his spouse Cheryl Longeway, who organizes the Christmas Hamper Program run by the fireplace division each vacation season.
Nonetheless, it isn’t simply his lengthy service as a firefighter that earned the captain the medal, but in addition his openness in speaking about his personal psychological well being struggles as a primary responder. Since being recognized with Publish-Traumatic Stress Dysfunction (PTSD) in 2014, he has change into an outspoken advocate for psychological well being help.
“Many, many first responders do get recognized with it, however I’m not going to let it beat me. I need to maintain going and I need to assist the youthful firefighters perceive what indicators and signs of PTSD are,” Captain Holstein mentioned. “The article [Discover Airdrie] did, introduced nice consciousness to the general public eye.”
Although Captain Holstein is among the longest-serving members, he credit the longest-serving member of the Crossfield Hearth Division, firefighter Invoice Walker, who served the division for over six many years, for mentoring him.
“He was an enormous inspiration to me. I did my first Santa Claus run with him once I was 15. He was a really valued member of the fireplace division up till he retired from us.”
Captain Holstein has additionally seen many operational and technical modifications for not solely Crossfield’s fireplace division however the fireplace service within the practically 4 many years he has served. A long time in the past, purposes with GPS had not but been developed and to firefighters again then, it might have appeared like one thing out of a science fiction novel.
“Again then they might just about name in and Invoice would direct us; flip left or flip proper.”
Now as one of the crucial veteran firefighters within the corridor, he mentioned that a part of being a task mannequin for the youthful generations of firefighters is the mutual respect that each youthful and older firefighters have for one another.
“I’ve a lot respect for the younger folks which are stepping into this business. My fireplace household – I really like them dearly like I really like my circle of relatives. You go to those calls, you go to those conditions and also you undergo this collectively,” he mentioned.
Holstein mentioned he is not fairly certain when he’ll retire from firefighting, saying ideally, he might be a Crossfield firefighter so long as he can.
“I’m a agency believer in the truth that it is best to give again to the neighborhood and assist your fellow residents. Over time, I’ve simply completely developed a real ardour and love for the fireplace service,” he mentioned. “It simply retains me going and it is very rewarding to see folks in the neighborhood that thanks in your assist in your service.”
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