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.”

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