On his 16th birthday, Paul Hurst signed up to be a volunteer firefighter in View Royal and never looked back.

And on Tuesday night he was honoured by View Royal council for 35 years of service in the municipality.

“I was fortunate. I knew early on, you know, elementary school, junior high, high school what I wanted to do and pursued that. And I mean in 1984 things were a lot different you could join a fire department when you were 16, it doesn’t happen like that now,” said Hurst, the View Royal Fire Chief.

Hurst became a full-time firefighter in 1988 at the age of 19. It was that year he would experience what would turn out to be one of the most powerful events of his career.

“The first year that I was on the job, there was a multi-fatal over by the hospital involving a young family. The silver lining in that is 20 years later one of the survivors showed up at my fire station and I still stay in touch with her,” said Hurst.

In 2006, Hurst was named fire chief. And in 2014, he was awarded a medal of bravery for rescuing a young girl from a blazing fire without any safety equipment. But through all of his success Hurst points to his colleagues as the driving force behind it.

“I spend more time with them then I do at home and we rely on each other, we trust each other with our lives,” said Hurst.

Those that have been in the line of duty with the View Royal Chief for years marvel at his longevity.

“I think the years of seeing firefighters reach 35 years of service is going to be far and few between nowadays. He still has the energy and spirit that he had when he started day one,” said View Royal Assistant Fire Chief Rob Marshall.

And Hurst isn’t ready to walk away just yett. With some regional issues left to tackle, the longtime Chief will continue to add to an already legendary career.

 

 

 

Ben Nesbit