NIPAWIN — David Balding, a firefighter from B.C. with 35 years of experience, has been hired to be Nipawin’s new fire chief.
Balding started as a volunteer firefighter in Malahat, B.C., located on Vancouver Island, in 1985.
He would stay there until 2010, becoming their chief, at which point he moved to Fraser Lake, a village in northern B.C.
This was his first role working as a full-time firefighter rather than as a volunteer. After Fraser Lake, he moved to Golden, B.C.
From Golden, he moved to Nipawin, which Balding said he embraced after hearing several good things from his colleagues about the department.
“I’m especially passionate about small town life and small volunteer departments,” Balding said. “It’s an environment I enjoy tremendously, given both the challenges and rewards of a smaller centre and the emergency response world that goes along with them.”
He said he likes to believe he received the job in Nipawin due to a blend of his passion for the job as well as experience and his ambition to learn.
Through his time in the field, Balding said he spent considerable time in investigations and building inspections.
“My role currently is to learn the community and the department as well as its ways, and work with the department to improve what is already a fantastic service,” he said.
“I intend to invest myself in the community and become part of it.”
For hobbies, Balding said he enjoys outdoor life with downhill skiing, mountain biking and kayaking.
“I have my kayak with me, and I intend on exploring some of the water around this community,” Balding said.
“I’ve certainly been made to feel welcome, and I look forward to getting to know both the members of the department and the residents of Nipawin as I integrate and explore the community.”