Fire marshal trainee
Former firefighter is NWT's only assistant fire marshal-in-training

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 26/97) - It's all about being part of a team.

According to Brad Jones, the NWT's only assistant fire marshal-in- training, everyone in the business of fighting fires must work toward a common goal.

"Everything you do, you have to remember why you're doing it -- and that is to preserve life and property."

In his third and final year of training, the 24-year-old keeps that in mind while getting the rare opportunity to learn the ropes of fire services across the North.

As the territorial fire marshal's understudy, Jones gets his feet wet in areas that include fire investigation, fire prevention and firefighter training.

Jones particularly enjoys travelling around the North to help train firefighters.

"The object is to educate firefighters so that less damage is done to buildings and they don't endanger themselves any more than they have to," Jones said.

A former firefighter in Inuvik, where he grew up, Jones enjoys the idea of being involved in firefighter training and fire safety education.

He worked on the Inuvik airport fire department and volunteered at the town's fire hall for five years before moving over to the investigation and education side of fires.

He is positive about every aspect of his job, taking a friendly approach to what could be the most difficult part of his job -- convincing building owners to comply with safety regulations

"I don't wear a uniform because in a small community, everyone knows who you are," he said.

"We don't want them to feel uncomfortable. We're not there to say you do this or else. We're there to educate the public and tell them the reasons why."

Jones believes his approach brings more positive results.

"There are some people who refuse to comply, but most people understand once you've explained the reason why to them," he said.

After he finishes training this October, Jones isn't sure exactly what he will do, but he is certain he will work in fire services.