SUDBURY – For Claude Daoust, giving back to his community is a part of who he is.
"We like to give back to the community. We like to help the community. It's a feeling we get afterward, that we've done something, we gave back to the community," said Daoust, Greater Sudbury Fire Services.
When he says we, Daoust is referring to a generational commitment of volunteer firefighting in his family, beginning with his father.
"I was following him all the time. He was there so I joined the firefighting department. He had 25 years when he left. So I'm at 46 and it's in the family. My son also is with the city of Greater Sudbury. He's out of the Water Station and he's at 14 years," he explained.
Daoust was recognized this week for 45 years of service up until 2018, as well as being named volunteer of the year.
In that time, he's become known by the nickname 'Legend' by his colleagues.
"He is passionate about what he does… he holds his staff accountable but he is out there supporting his community, and he is a passionate man about it and 45 years, that's just outstanding," Chief Joseph Nicholls, Greater Sudbury Fire Services.
Now at 46 years of service, Daoust laughs when asked if he'll make it to 50.
"Uhh… I don't think so! They want me to stay until 50 but we'll see. 47 for sure!" He exclaimed.
Daoust says he always takes great pleasure in helping a family retrieve personal belongings after a fire.
While he's looking to step down in the coming years, he encourages the next generation, no matter the gender, to consider filling his shoes in a service that he is so passionate about.