Crofton Fire Department members elected Matt Ludvigson as chief for a three-year term.  (Photo by Don Bodger)

Crofton Fire Department members elected Matt Ludvigson as chief for a three-year term. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Ludvigson Crofton’s new fire chief

Protection Officer duties with Catalyst complement role for 15-year firefighting veteran

Matt Ludvigson is the new chief of the Crofton Fire Department following elections Nov. 12.

Ludvigson, 41, has lived in Crofton for 16 years and been with the fire department for 15. He takes over the post from Ken Rukus.

“After 15 years, I still have a lot to learn,” Ludvigson indicated.

He spent five years as training officer, training to the National Fire Protection Association 1001 level. “Now all four North Cowichan halls are on board and doing this program,” Ludvigson noted. “

“This is the next challenge for me,” he added of becoming chief.

Ludvigson works as a Protection Officer at the Catalyst pulp and paper mill in Crofton so his job skills readily translate into the duties required of the chief.

Besides the training program, Ludvigson said other recent developments at Crofton include the acquisition of a new boat in September.

“We’re in the beginning stages of the emergency boat operation and swift water rescue,” he pointed out.

Emergency incidents are obviously rare, but proper preparation is a necessity just in case.

“You use it once a year, you’d better be good at it,” Ludvigson conceded.

The department is always on the lookout for new members and recently added a couple of more who were due to start Wednesday. “Both guys seem pretty upbeat and ready to go,” noted Ludvigson.

He said there’s still room for three more in the department. Chemainus has also been seeking additional firefighters while Maple Bay and the South End are full.

Ludvigson doesn’t see a huge adjustment in directing the combination of older and younger members in the department.

“These guys manage themselves for the most part,” he pointed out. “Everybody knows what they’re supposed to do. You just need a figurehead for it.”

Joe Bailey remains as deputy chief, as his position was not up for election. The four captains elected by the membership include: Lee Burridge, Zach DeLure, Rick Smith and Jon Ward.

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