By Jacob Noseworthy
Since transitioning into the role in March, Martin Christman has been further serving his community as the fire chief of the Christina Lake Fire Department.
Christman, who moved to Christina Lake in 1996 and has been with the Department for 20 years, was motivated by his wife Dorothy to join.
“When we moved here, I was just looking for ways to get involved in the community,” Christman said. “I volunteered in the school and a bunch of other different things and my wife saw an ad in the paper that the Fire Department was looking for new members. She encouraged me to apply and said she’d support me because she knew there were lots of volunteer hours. Knowing I had her support and that she was behind me, I went and applied.”
Moving up through the department was a long process, Christman explained.
“It doesn’t just happen overnight like ‘Oh, you’re going to be fire chief because Ken’s retiring.’ I moved up the ladder over the years. Initially, I took on a lead trainer position for a first responder program, then became a lieutenant in charge of more training, then moved up to captain and deputy chief.”
“Then [former fire chief Ken Gresley-Jones’] retirement came about,” Christman said. “Being deputy chief, the whole idea was to be training to take on the position. Granted, I still had to go through an application process with the Regional District, but that’s more or less how it played out.”
Christman is very community-oriented and enjoys firefighting as a way to support the community of Christina Lake.
“It’s really just an even greater opportunity to give to the community in a real positive way,” he said. “Just helping other fathers and mothers who want to volunteer in the community, our members in the fire department, to be the best they can be and contribute to the community as well, is great. It’s a really good team atmosphere and I really enjoy that.”
Being part of the Fire Department is far from all that Christman does to give back to the community, however.
“I’ve always been a community coach and have been involved in everything from scouts, cubs, and beavers to the local elementary school and coaching there,” he said. “Our old principal, Doug Lacey, encouraged me to take up coaching and I’ve really enjoyed it. That’s something I hold strong and dear to my heart.”
“One of the sports that I’ve really grown to like over the years, with encouragement originally from Doug, is volleyball and everyone in the community knows that.”
Although he just lives with his wife after his children moved out, family has always been important to Christman and he expressed his pride towards his children.
He explained that both his oldest and youngest son work in the oil industry, that his oldest son just had his first grandchild recently, and that his daughter is top of her nursing class at Boise State University.
Christman loves living at Christina Lake and having had the opportunity to bring his children up there.
“It’s a really great thing raising your family at the Lake. I couldn’t recommend it enough.”