Co-op Community Champion: Brent Morgan

Brent Morgan isn’t just a firefighter, he is a Fort St. John resident doing whatever he can in the position he is in to give back to the community.

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Brent Morgan during a Burn Camp. (supplied)

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Brent Morgan isn’t just a firefighter, he is a Fort St. John resident doing whatever he can in the position he is in to give back to the community.

Congratulations to Brent for being selected as the Co-op Community Champion for February.

Brent has been serving the community as a Fort St. John firefighter for around 24 years and is the president of the FSJ firefighter Charitable Society, the northern director for the Professional Firefighters Burn fund, and an assistant coach for the FSJ Huskies.

Born and raised in Mackenzie, Brent moved to Fort St. John in 1996 to play with the Huskies. During his third and final year with the huskies, Brent volunteered with the department until he was offered a full-time position after a former firefighter retired.

Aside from keeping the community safe as a firefighter, Brent also gives back through the charitable society, a volunteer organization dedicated to raising money for the community.

“I just always enjoyed helping out and giving back to people that need it. I enjoy the fundraising part and benefitted from seeing people helping out, such as coaches, when I played hockey and thought I should help out too.”

The society has two main initiatives: the medical travel program and the Burn Fund. Through the travel program, the organization covers travel, accommodations and meals for people needing medical assistance outside the city. The Burn Fund focuses on helping burn survivors who have been through traumatic events and teaches burn prevention and education.

Brent first heard about the Burn Fund during a meeting in Prince George in 2002, where it was stated that a representative was needed for Fort St. John. After researching more information about the initiative, Brent started serving as the representative at the Fort St. John Fire Department, kick starting the fund’s future growth in the region.

“We started doing more and more fundraising. Then we started the fireman’s ball, and we were making large donations to the Burn Fund and starting to meet some of the board of directors,” said Brent.

Upon meeting the board of directors, Brent kept being asked if he would be interested in joining the board — 10 years later, he is still the northern director for the Burn Fund.

Around the same time Brent joined the board, he also started serving as a camp counsellor for the Burn Camp, which welcomes burn survivors aged 6 to 18 every year.

Reminiscing on his first time attending the camp, Brent said it’s hard to describe the feeling of seeing new kids arriving frightened to eventually becoming comfortable with the environment.

“They have these scars on their body, and they’re super self-conscious about them, feeling that they’re the only ones with these scars. And then seeing kids in their first year wearing shorts for the first time or taking scissors to the pants that they’ve always worn, and making them into shorts and being okay with their scars, realizing that they’re not alone in this — it’s too hard to put into words unless you’ve experienced it.”

“It’s bigger than Christmas for them.”

Brent says his favourite part about participating in the camp is the relationships with returning kids.

“The biggest thing would be the second year you go back and the relationship you built with a kid that may not have been in your cabin, but they were so excited to see you… They were excited waiting for you to come back the next year and share what has happened in their life in the past year.”

Another critical piece of Brent’s life is hockey. Aside from the sport bringing him to Fort St. John, Brent coached the minor hockey teams his daughter was a part of until she was finished playing.

“When her time hockey was up, I was kind of thinking like, oh, now what?”

After a phone call with head coach Todd Alexander about a player interested in being a firefighter, Brent asked Todd if he needed any help. The following season, Brent was given a coaching role and has now been helping out the Huskies for the last two years.

Commenting on the success the Huskies have had the past two seasons, Brent says it’s cool to see how successful the team is.

“It just proves how strong minor hockey is, and the program’s growing up for these kids.”

Despite having a lot going on in his life, Brent says he is not shy about taking five minutes to put his feet up and relax. When he has time, Brent is outdoors, hunting or working out at the gym.

Congratulations to Brent Morgan for being selected as February’s Co-op Community Champion.

Co-op highlights people in Fort St. John who should be recognized for their work in the community. Anyone looking to nominate a community-minded person in need of recognition can head to Energeticcity’s website.

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