On a winter day in February 1976, wanting to help out his community, David Cloud joined the Hornby Island Volunteer Fire Department. At that time there was a Chief and a Deputy Chief. Cloud became the only firefighter. Since that day he has seen 10 chiefs come and go in his 35 years of service.
While Cloud’s contributions to the department were varied and numerous, his legacy will no doubt be remembered in three ways. He was the guy that brought the use of breathing apparatus to the department; he was the first trained medical responder and ushered in our current medical program; he pitched the idea of a local fire patrol and was the first patroller. All three of those programs are not only still a part of us, but are significant in defining our department.
In 2001, after 25 years of service, the Lieutenant Governor, Iona V. Campagnolo, came to Hornby Island to present David with the “British Columbia Long Service Medal ” to “… recognize the dedication and selflessness with which these individuals have served their community and this province in the protection of life and property.”
Just this year our chief, Giff LaRose, presented Cloud with the “British Columbia Long Service Bar” for his 35 years of service. Throughout his volunteering career with the fire department David felt he could contribute most effectively as a firefighter and he declined many offers to become an officer.
When thinking of how people give back, it is hard to come up with an example of dedication and giving as incredible as David Cloud’s. Thirty-five years of giving up at least one night a week, some weeks many more, demonstrates a commitment to the health and protection of the community that is unparalleled.
When I asked Cloud if he had any parting thoughts for the department or for the community at large he responded by saying how pleased he was that the department has grown into the capable organization that it is. He says he feels great pride in being able to lay the foundation for what our department has become.
From all of us at HIFR, past members, and the community at large, thank you, David. You are an inspiration.