When it comes to serving the West Shore community, Landis Carmichael has spent more than half his life working to make residents’ toughest days a little brighter.
At 29, he was among the veterans at Langford Fire Rescue, having been an active volunteer firefighter since he was 16. As a young leader with the department, he has led by example with the pride and professionalism he demonstrated when on duty, most recently as a lieutenant.
Born in Edmonton, he lived in a variety of cities growing up, from Inuvik to Montreal, Ottawa to Yellowknife – the family moved around due to Carmichael’s father working in airport management with NAV Canada. As a boy Carmichael avidly observed emergency service providers in action and was still keen on somehow getting involved by the time he arrived in Greater Victoria in 2004.
He worked his way up the ladder as a volunteer during his dozen years with Langford Fire Rescue, but boots on the ground firefighting wasn’t the only way Carmichael contributed to community through the provision of emergency services.
His paid career involved working for the Capital Regional District regional fire dispatch centre that serves 19 fire departments in the area. So, when not volunteering his time, training for or responding to the next emergency, he provided professional and volunteer firefighters alike with quick, reliable information. That valuable service allowed his regional colleagues and fellow departments to provide the best customer service to their citizens, some of whom might be enduring one of their worst days.
But Carmichael’s contributions didn’t stop there.
As part of the solution to the opioid crisis ravaging the region, he worked as a primary care paramedic and educator on the front lines at the Our Place harm reduction site in downtown Victoria. He built a reputation for treating everyone equally and professionally, and kept top of mind the goals of positive medical outcomes and the preservation of life.
While much of his time in Greater Victoria was spent in selfless pursuit of community service, Carmichael has been working on his masters degree in disaster and emergency management at Royal Roads University, with plans to graduate this winter.
His wide range of experiences here prompted him last summer to pursue the next stage of his career. He successfully applied for a position as deputy fire chief and deputy director of emergency service with the Iqaluit fire department in Nunavut. The department not only functions to prevent and limit the effect of fires, each of its 20 full-time and 15 volunteer firefighters are also trained paramedics, serving the community as medical first responders.
No stranger to life in Canada’s North, having spent time in both Inuvik and Yellowknife, he flew up to take on his new adventure in September 2020 and left a legacy of service and provided valuable mentorship of other young firefighters in Langford.
Armed with broad experience and targeted education, he’s equipped to lead responses to a variety of emergency and disaster challenges. In his time on the West Shore, he helped to make his community a safer and healthier place to live, work and play.
Landis Carmichael is this year’s Emergency Services Local Hero.
Nominations for the 2022 Local Hero Awards West Shore open on Feb. 25. To learn more, go to hero.goldstreamgazette.com.
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