Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

Rocky Mountain Adventure Gear - For all Your Motorized and Non-Motorized Adventures!

By Andi Bourne
Pathfinder 

Meet the SLRFD Officers - Cory Calnan - Captain 703

 

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Cory Calnan - Captain 703

Calnan has been a volunteer firefighter for 15 and half years all over Montana. He has served on the Seeley Lake Rural Fire Department (SLRFD) for the past six years.

Calnan grew up around volunteer fire departments. His father retired after more than 30 years as a volunteer. He also had uncles that served their communities.

"Being in the volunteer fire department was a pretty big deal for the family," said Calnan. "I would have joined at age 12 but couldn't join until I was 18. Once I turned 18 I joined officially. It's a lot of fun."

Calnan is qualified as a structure and wildland firefighter and was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for six years. The Seeley Lake Fire Chief Bob Vanden Heuvel appointed Calnan to Captain one year ago.

"I have a lot of fire supervision responsibilities in my day job [Fire Supervisor for the Montana Department of Natural Resources Clearwater Unit] and it was just an added fit with my experience and training," said Calnan. "I have had a fair amount of experience in the fire department and on wildland fire, I'm more comfortable taking a command role and giving orders and direction and people look for that."

As Captain, Calnan helps maintain the command structure during an incident. He serves as a leader below the chief supervising other firefighters. He also second in command and provides the leadership for an incident in the chief's absence.

Calnan said one of the biggest challenges for the Seeley Lake Fire Department is recruitment and having enough people to do the job and do it safely.

"When we are short on numbers and short on experience, I think everyone is sticking their neck out a little farther," said Calnan.

The most important thing for Calnan is the comradery that develops in the department and among the volunteers.

"I enjoy the challenge of leadership. It's a pretty big compliment to be a leader of volunteers," said Calnan. "I just enjoy being a fireman. I think it's a fun job. If I get to do that and provide leadership then it's a good thing."

 

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