2021 Lifetime Achievement Award© 2021 Le Prix d’Excellence©
CVFSA News Release
September 4, 2021
For a twelfth year, the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association (CVFSA) conducted a National search to name one of Canada’s best volunteer firefighters based upon a prescribed criterion. The award is known as the CVFSA Lifetime Achievement Award©. The program is administered and managed by the CVFSA and the nomination process was open for a five month period. A committee of six volunteers from different regions of Canada reviewed the nominations and selected the winner.
Due to COVID, the official announcement is being made virtually. The 2021 recipient is Fire Chief Jeannine Caldbeck of Thetis Island Volunteer Fire Department (TIVFD), British Columbia. Jeannine Caldbeck first joined the Fire Department in 1996. She became a First Responder instructor and was certified as an instructor for AED and spinal management in 1998. She was appointed Fire Captain in 2002, and in 2003, became the first woman in British Columbia to complete Fire Officer 1 training at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). Also in 2003, Jeannine was appointed as Deputy Chief and training instructor of TIVFD. Finally in 2005, she was appointed Fire Chief of TIVFD, a position she has held ever since. She was one of only 2 or 3 female chiefs in British Columbia when she was appointed. She has been an active member of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and the Fire Chiefs Association of British Columbia (FCABC). Jeannine started the Women and Minorities Committee for the FCABC and continues to chair it under its new name of the FCABC Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Committee.
The TIVFD, under Jeannine’s leadership has become recognized as one of the most professional and best run departments on Vancouver Island. Under her, the fleet of vehicles has been renewed and expanded to include a command vehicle with rapid response capability. Four of the vehicles were bought in the USA, and Jeannine personally drove them to Thetis Island from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Texas.
Chief Caldbeck established an Auxiliary to support firefighters with rest and rehab, traffic control, communications and water tendering. Dry hydrants and firefighting water tanks have been established at strategic points around the island.
In 2007 Chief Caldbeck made a case to the Thetis Island Improvement District (TIID) for renovation of the fire hall to meet WorkSafe BC and Underwriters requirements. Construction of the $800,000 project started in 2018 and was completed by 2019. Under her leadership the hall was able to stay operational as it was torn apart during an extra challenging time for renovations during the winter.
The 2021 CVFSA Lifetime Achievement Award© program is supported by Duracell.