Lt. Cory Woods is celebrating more than a decade of service at the Merritt Fire and Rescue Department.

In addition to his more than ten years of service in Merritt, Woods also served as a volunteer firefighter in Chilliwack for nine years and spent two years at a fire and rescue department in the Yukon.

A heavy-duty mechanic by trade who works for Nadina Logging, Woods became involved in firefighting at the suggestion of his friends.

“A couple of my buddies were doing it and they talked me into it,” said Woods.

“So, I tried it and ever since then every town I’ve moved to I’ve applied.”

Woods enjoys the variety involved in being a firefighter, as there are always different calls, tasks and operations to take part in.

“I love driving and being a pump operator, I like attending MVIs, which are motor vehicle incidents,” said Woods.

“Really all aspects of firefighting; I like wildland fires, interface fires as well. I’ve been on deployments for those a few times here.”

Woods also appreciates the friendly, small town feel that Merritt offers his family.

“It’s a nice little community, it’s very friendly, I have lots of family here and so does my wife,” said Woods.

“I like raising my kids here and Merritt Fire Department is like a little family as well. You have all trades in there, all aspects of life from Merritt in there. It’s kind of neat when you go to the hall and you have everybody you could build a house with, or go hunting and fishing with, it’s an extended family.”

If anyone is interested in joining the Fire and Rescue Department, Woods encourages them to come down and visit the hall, or watch a Monday night training session.

“We’re always looking for new members so come on down, take a look, check us out on a Monday night practice sometime,” said Woods.

“The training is awesome, some people who have been trained as paid on call volunteers like we are, they’ve actually made that into a full-time job somewhere else, as a firefighter. We’ll train you for your full level firefighting, so it’s a great steppingstone.”