Age no barrier for 78-year-old Shuswap volunteer firefighter | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions


Vernon News

Age no barrier for 78-year-old Shuswap volunteer firefighter

Mike Thoms, 78, was the 150th Columbia Shuswap Regional District firefighter in 2020 to become fully certified to the B.C. firefighters' professional standard.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Columbia Shuswap Regional District
January 10, 2021 - 7:00 AM

A Shuswap volunteer firefighter has proven that age is just a state of mind by achieving his professional level firefighting certification at age 78.

In late December, Swansea Point volunteer firefighter Mike Thoms, 78, became fully certified to the B.C. firefighters' professional standard.

"I love what I do, so until I get really old, I'm not going to stop," Thoms said in a Columbia Shuswap Regional District media release. "As long as I'm capable, I will keep going."

The regional district fire service set itself a goal in 2020 of getting 150 of its firefighters to become fully certified to the B.C. professional standard. It hit that goal and Thoms was the 150th firefighter to become certified in 2020. 

Thoms joined the fire service 13 years ago after retiring and moving to the Shuswap.

"We made a new home here and I wanted to give something back. No use just sitting around wasting my time. If the fire department figured I was good enough for them at my age, then why not become a firefighter?" he said.

Over the last 13 years he has worked his way through all the firefighting courses including the physically demanding live-fire exterior training module.

"I'm still in a daze that I'm a certified firefighter. Not in my wildest dreams did I think I could do something like that," he said. "I'm so proud to have had the opportunity and to have people who encouraged me that I could do this."

Thoms pioneered the role of the rehab officer at the regional. The job involves monitoring the health and safety of firefighters when they are battling blazes. He also worked with Sicamous paramedics who trained him in monitoring vital signs and blood pressure and has since helped train rehab officers in different regional district fire departments.

Thoms encourages anyone, at any age, who wants to give back to their community to check out their local fire department.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2021

  • Popular vernon News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile