Welcome to our Firefighter spotlight section, recognizing the dedication and passion put forth by our members.
Firefighter Gareth Tilt
“It’s not what stands in front of you but who stands beside you.”
In 2015, Merritt Fire Rescue welcomed Firefighter Gareth Tilt to the department; a paid-on-call candidate that brought with him 3 years of experience from Mackenzie Fire Rescue. Firefighter Tilt’s service to the City of Merritt extends beyond the fire service, you can find him working as a math and science teacher at the Community Learning Center (alternate education school). Initially, Tilt joined the fire department as an opportunity to become more involved with the community and it’s members; Tilt continues his commitment to serve due to the sense of family and community that he has developed along the way. “Our department has been incredibly supportive of my family and I have made lots of great friends. It also doesn’t hurt that it really is fun most of the time and I enjoy the excitement each day of never knowing what might happen” Tilt notes, along with the “numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth along the way”. It is this growth that has positioned Tilt as a senior firefighter on his platoon and a natural instructor to his peers. In the future, Tilt intends on pursuing the role of Lieutenant within the department; already actively seeking out opportunities to increase his abilities, raise his level of certification and take on more leadership roles as they arise. Tilt’s dedication and hard working efforts are equally matched with an understanding of what a career in the fire service truly entails. “Over the years, I have seen and been involved in some daunting challenges emotionally and physically and come through them with the support of those around me” Tilt continues, “Firefighting is never an individual effort, and our health and safety before, during, and after each call, depends on the support we get from one another.” That support, Tilt notes, extends not just to his fire service brothers and sisters, but his wife Liana as well. “[Liana] is patient, selfless, and in many ways has made as much of a commitment to the fire department as I have…it isn’t easy to wake up or drop everything at the sound of a pager and there are many hours that I am gone where I am sure she’d rather have me around.” The growing Tilt family support also includes 2 year-old daughter, Eira, who acts as an inspiration for Tilt, to continue to serve the families of Merritt. “It helps that she is becoming more and more excited about sirens and the big red truck!” Tilt adds. We want to thank Firefighter Tilt and his family for their continued service to our community.