As he is prone to, Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen couldn’t shy away from an opportunity to get a giggle from the gallery last Tuesday, noting Oak Bay Fire Lt. Jason Joynson worked first for the municipal water department, making the fire service an easy next stop.
Fire Chief Dave Cockle and Jensen awarded Joynsen his Governor General of Canada’s Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal. The award honours members of a recognized Canadian fire service who have completed 20 years of service, 10 years of which have been served in the performance of duties involving potential risks.
“This is a very special occasion not only for Jason but for our community to recognize one of our own,” Jensen said. “It just shows the dedication the firefighters have to the job and our community.”
Joynsen started full time with the municipality in June 1993, and joined the fire department two years later, after being recruited by then chief Bob Randall.
“You really, in that first year, earned your wings so to speak,” Jensen said, noting there were three significant fires followed by the “blizzard of ‘96.”
“You didn’t come to a standstill. That day you worked a 30-hour shift,” he added.
Joynsen became full lieutenant in May 2013, qualifying earlier as an acting assistant chief.
He also serves as commander of the Oak Bay Fire honour guard and three years ago joined the regional HazMat team.
Jensen noted that Joynson was on board during the recent crash when a driver with a medical emergency lost control of a fire truck.
“Your dedication to duty on that day again reflects your service to our community,” Jensen said. “In this line of work you do put yourself in harm’s way.”
Joynsen chose not to speak, instead offering his words for the mayor to read during the ceremony.
“Balancing a family life with a career which often takes you from that family has at times proven challenging. However, knowing I’m here to help this community while making positive changes in others’ lives has made this career fulfilling,” Joynsen wrote. “The 20 years passed by rather quickly. I know the community respects the job we do and the service we offer, and as a fire officer I respect the community I have chosen to serve.”