KVFD bids farewell to firefighter Melanie Bagley

Bagley broke ground at the KVFD seven and a half years ago when she became the first female firefighter to join the Keremeos ranks

KVFD Chief Jordy Bosscha retires Bagley’s helmet during a farewell  get together for her at the firehall last week.

KVFD Chief Jordy Bosscha retires Bagley’s helmet during a farewell get together for her at the firehall last week.

 

Seven year veteran firefighter Melanie Bagley performed her final practise on Tuesday, August 21 with the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department.

Bagley broke ground at the KVFD seven and a half years ago when she became the first female firefighter to join the ranks. Since then, four other women have taken on the volunteer task; with Bagley’s departure, there is still one female remaining on the department.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” Bagley said of her years in Keremeos.

“The guys have all been great – I have never regretted it.”

 

Bagley got involved in the department after hearing that recruits were needed.

“I had a gut feeling,” she said, “while it didn’t logically make sense to step into the task as a female, I felt it was something I wanted to do, so I decided to follow up.”

 

Bagley has found a certain amount of satisfaction over the years through the help the department has been able to provide the community over the years.

“I feel the contributions the fire department makes help to make a concrete difference in the community,” she said. “We have a good team here who’s goal is to help people.”

Bagley took on additional duties during her time on the department, including time as Club President and five years as Media Relations Officer. Most recently she has acquired the role of Truck Captain.

Bagley encourages those in the community with even the slightest interest in firefighting to check out the KVFD.

“People are a lot busier today and don’t have the time for the commitment this requires,” she observed, “but I strongly recommend that anyone interested in the fire department should check it out. If I hadn’t pursued it, I would have missed out on a lot.” She does add that the experience does require a firm commitment.

“It’s not something you can choose to do one week and ignore the next,” she said.

“It’s definitely not a “wishy washy” experience,” she laughed.

Bagley noted a number of bad incidents she attended to as a Keremeos firefighter, finding solace in the department’s ability to provide those afflicted with assistance.

 

“I’ve witnessed quite a few nasty incidents,” she admitted, “I don’t like to see people suffering or hurt, whether physically or because they are losing their house – but at least in those instances we are  there to try and help them out.”