By Percy N. Hébert
Elkford has a new deputy fire chief starting next month, after he left his position in Smithers to chase his dream of being a Fire Chief.
Corey J. Kortmeyer had his last day as chief of the Telkwa Volunteer Fire Department in Smithers Friday.
Kortmeyer is headed to Elkford where he assumes the position of full-time Deputy Fire Chief.
“My dream is to be a full-time fire chief,” Kortmeyer said.
“This is the first step.”
Kortmeyer first slipped into firefighter boots in Telkwa in 2006, then in 2008 he took over as fire chief.
Looking back, Kortmeyer points to additional training he’s been able to secure for the TVFD as one of his most important accomplishments, together with being able to maintain a core group of volunteers.
“I’ve rubbed shoulders with some great people,” Kortmeyer said referring to the volunteer firefighters.
In those years of service, Kortmeyer points to one incident as the best and toughest event of his time in Telkwa.
He recalls, still with some emotion in his voice, a close call a few summers ago when a two-year-old boy fell into Tyhee Lake.
“He drowned and was resuscitated,” Kortmeyer said.
“The highest point in my career and the lowest up until when we found out he was going to be okay.”
Although he’s excited about his new adventure, Kortmeyer said it is difficult to leave Telkwa and the fire hall.
“The volunteers in the fire hall are a close-knit group,” he said.
“It’s going to be really hard to say good-bye to the valley and Telkwa especially.”