Deryk Thulien of Veteran is no stranger to firefighting, having served easily 15 years with the Veteran Fire Department.
The department covers a vast area that overlaps with Coronation, Consort, Talbot and Youngstown and will go to those areas for support if needed.
For the 43-year-old captain, he wound up joining the department thanks to another person on the force.
Community engagement kept him going.
“I think a lot of it is community,” said Thulien. “I’ve always loved supporting the community through different areas and this is just one area that I know I can help out and be an asset to the community.”
Thulien feels most confident when he knows that everyone is safe but the most challenging thing for him was the mental strength it takes to endure a difficult situation.
“It could be a mental thing I guess where you’re always being prepared,” he continued. “The most challenging is when things don’t turn out the way you hope if you are doing a medical or there is a motor vehicle accident and there’s a fatality. That tends to linger on a person for a while.”
The most memorable egg-sperience Thulien encountered while on-call involved a loaded truck with 2,000 dozen eggs.
A truck hauling this large amount of eggs was leaving one of the Hutterite colonies north of Veteran when it lost control and landed onto its side on the highway.
The door opened wide for the thousands of eggs that poured out onto the road.
“Environmental came and had to use skid steers and dump trucks to haul stuff away. We actually ended up having to get the road sanded because it got so slippery.
“It was kind of a giant omelette,” laughed Thulien.
The worst part was the fact it was during the late spring on a warmer sunny day so the eggs baked onto the road.
Firefighters are required to have a number of qualities to serve the task at hand but communication has proven to be a large component of the job.
“A great firefighter to me is someone that is always looking and preparing for the next event, is always looking to the future to see how they can best serve the community,” said Thulien.
“I think being relational is probably one of the biggest things a firefighter can be is learning how to communicate with everyone. That seems to set apart a lot of firefighters.”