The end of an era
St. Anthony fire chief retires after three decades of service
After 30 years with the St. Anthony Fire Department, Levi Reid has concluded a solid run.
He finished up his decades of service at the end of May, having spent the last four years serving as fire chief.
As the 71-year-old puts it, there comes a time for every- thing to come to an end and he’s proud to have served the town for as long as he did.
Looking back Reid has a lot of great memories and more than a few interesting tales from his time protecting the town.
When he first joined, he admitted that the level of training isn’t what it is today. “Over time we started
spending time in around St. John’s and Grand Falls getting the proper training in place building a real solid department,” he said.
And there was nothing its members would shy away from. From car wrecks to ice rescue the department handled it all.
At one point, Reid said it doubled as an ambulance service until insurance requirements saw it phased out.
One memorable moment for Reid was the burning of the Fisheries Products International trawler Newfoundland Falcon, at St. Anthony wharf in the 1980s.
“We couldn’t get aboard of her it was that hot,” he said. “So we had her towed into the mouth of the harbour and then they brought her back to the American wharf and she was still afire for three or four days after that.
Even though he was the fire chief for the last four years, a modest Reid isn’t taking credit for the department’s success.
“When I took it over everything was pretty much in place,” he said. “So we just focused on replacing equipment, like getting new breathing apparatuses and smaller items, and maintaining membership.”
Looking forward, he’s hopeful the department will continue its training and obtain a new rescue truck and fire hall.
To the new fire chief that will be his replacement, Reid has a piece of advice to offer.
“I’d like to wish the new fire chief the best of luck with the position, however, I think I was a bit too lenient, you have to be stricter,” he said.
“It’s a fine line to walk because if you push too hard you’ll lose everybody, as it’s volunteers, but you need to push hard enough to get training carried out so everyone is prepared come time to respond.”