Jones deserves pat on the back for 12 outstanding years as Fire Chief

By on December 12, 2017

Dear Editor:

I would like to say a few words about our Rick Jones, the man who represented the Town of Osoyoos so well as Fire Chief over the past 12 years.

I remember an early Sunday morning in May, nine or 10 years ago, heading out to the sundeck with a cup of coffee and a newspaper when I saw a huge plume of smoke rising from Main Street.

The cellphone rang, it was Jones asking, “Can you give me a hand?”

When I got there, he said “take my keys and go get as much bottled water and firefighting foam from Hall No. 2 as the truck can carry. This is an extremely hot fire and I’m very concerned about my guys.”

The fire was raging and spreading to the adjacent building by the time I got back, the wind was starting to shift and glowing embers were spreading east towards the rooftops of the other buildings on Main Street.

It could have been a disaster.

I couldn’t help but watch Chief Jones in action.

Calm, cool and collected with a confident professional attitude, he went about the business of delegating duties to each of his firemen, controlling the fire scene, and dealing with everyone who wanted a piece of him, all the while preparing the next steps should this fire get way out of hand and making sure everyone on the scene was safe and able to perform their duties.

This is just one story of many.

Rick Jones has put a staggering amount of time and dedication into this community as fire chief, volunteer, and concerned citizen while simultaneously operating two successful businesses.

If our new Fire Chief, Ryan McCaskill, and those that follow have at least some of these qualities, we’ll be more than all right.

Next time you see Rick Jones, take a moment to thank him for his dedication.’

He won’t like it, patting himself on the back is not his thing, but do it anyway.

Neil Pagett

Osoyoos, B.C.

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