Every day hundreds of people work behind the scenes to keep Prince Edward County running. Over the next several months, we will profile a few of the people that are ‘here for our community.’
We continue the series by talking with Tim Jones, a full-time firefighter mechanic with Prince Edward County Fire and Rescue.
Can you start by giving a brief overview of your job?
Whoa, that’s a tough one. I could be doing a safety on a vehicle one moment and then have to head out to a fire call the next moment. I never really know what my day’s going to look like until it happens.
In addition to my firefighting duties, I maintain the fleet of more than 30 vehicles and perform their annual safeties. I also build and design trucks and equipment for the department. I have built nine rescue vans over my career, helping the County save about $100,000 on each van. I take a plain cube van and install the lights, roll-up doors, and other equipment.
I have also designed and fabricated the truck we use for grass fires and extrications. It saved the County money, but also gave us a truck that fits the needs of the County. These types of trucks on the market are too big and wouldn’t work here in Prince Edward County.
I have also designed and built the dryer for our bunker gear/ice water rescue gear.
How long have you worked with the County?
I’ve been with the department full time since 2006. Before that I worked for about 15 years with Prinzen Ford as a mechanic.
When I worked at Prinzen, I volunteered with PEC Fire and Rescue for five to six years. That was a cool opportunity. During that time as a volunteer firefighter, I was able to get some other credentials and specialized training, which made it easier to get the full-time job when it came up.
How has COVID-19 impacted your work?
There are new safety protocols that we need to follow when we go out to calls now, especially around personal protective equipment. We have to make sure we have on a gown and mask when interacting with patients.
However, COVID-19 hasn’t changed the day to day routine around the station very much. There is enough space here that we can maintain the physical distance from one another.
What do you like most about the job and working for the County?
I really like the variety of this job. It never gets repetitive. I never know what’s going to come up from one day to the next. Some people might think we are just sitting around here at the station waiting for a call to come in. It’s not like that at all. There is so much going on behind the scenes that a lot of people don’t see and understand.
I enjoy working in the community where I grew up. The County has grown a lot but it still has that community feeling.
Having the new fire hall here in Picton is great. There is a lot more space to do the work that I do. Before I used to travel around to the different halls and do my work in small, cramped spaces. Now we can bring the vehicles here where we have a much better set-up. It helps us bring a lot more of the mechanical work in house and keep costs down.