For 30-plus years Coaldale and area has been blessed to have Andy Van Rijn as our fire chief. He has attended many, many emergency situations including fires, vehicle and home accidents — which have included deaths, some of which were very personal — whether family, friend or child.
He has also been involved with having emergency medical situations with callers who required ambulance service, as well as being called upon to act as pallbearer for family, friend or colleague. He has always recognized the need to make certain his force of staff and volunteers have been able, where possible, to avail themselves of the latest, most up-to-date courses and training. With dignity and grace, he has carried out all his duties.
After many years of using a half-ton truck, albeit beautifully decorated these last few years, as his first response vehicle — he now has a mini-van (SUV) for that duty.
When I see this van (SUV), I am so thankful our fire chief has a new vehicle, which I am sure can carry the first response items needed much more securely and is also very economical and thereby much more environmentally friendly.
This vehicle does not represent Andy Van Rijn; this vehicle represents the Town of Coaldale, which means each every one of us.
Many people who need help may not know the person driving this vehicle but immediately upon seeing it, they are thinking, “here comes help.”
This is the purpose of this vehicle. The fact it is driven by our beloved fire chief is a bonus.
More than well deserved, Andy.