Craig Fire/Rescue promoted K.C. Hume, from left, Samantha Johnston and Dennis Jones to the ranks of battalion chief, lieutenant and battalion chief, respectively. The three received their new ranks during a special ceremony Thursday at the fire station.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Craig Fire/Rescue promoted K.C. Hume, from left, Samantha Johnston and Dennis Jones to the ranks of battalion chief, lieutenant and battalion chief, respectively. The three received their new ranks during a special ceremony Thursday at the fire station.

Three Craig Fire/Rescue firefighters promoted

K.C. Hume

Age: 42

New rank: Battalion chief

Years with Craig Fire/Rescue: 10

On being promoted:

"I'm honored and humbled. I know we'll continue to build on the firefighters who came before us and the leadership we have."

Samantha Johnston

Age: 34

Rank: Lieutenant

Years with Craig Fire/Rescue: 5

On being promoted:

"I'm lucky to be a part of a department that not only accommodates women in the service, but encourages them."

Dennis Jones

Age: 49

Rank: Battalion chief

Years with Craig Fire/Rescue: 21

On being promoted:

"It's a big deal and I'll have more responsibility. The job really won't change much, but it will allow for more growth in the department."

When Samantha Johnston completes a major accomplishment in her life, her mother gives her a flying pig, in reference to the saying, "when pigs fly."

On Thursday at the Craig Fire Station, she posed in the lobby with a new addition to her collection: a blue and white flying pig, the symbol of her promotion to lieutenant at Craig Fire/Rescue.

In the brief ceremony, Fire Chief Bill Johnston granted promotions to Samantha Johnston, K.C. Hume and Dennis Jones.

Hume and Jones, previously captains, were promoted to battalion chief, a job Bill Johnston said the pair already was performing.

"We're really just making the titles commensurate with the duties they have already been doing for years," he said. "They've done an impeccable job."

Hume, whose son presented him and Jones with new sets of gold, plastic Batman wings after the ceremony, said he was honored and humbled by the promotion.

"He was just trying to more accurately represent the work that was being done," Hume said, passing the honor onto his chief. "Johnston is a wonderful individual. He really has the best interests of the firefighters, the taxpayers and the district we serve, at heart."

Hume, who has been with Craig Fire/Rescue for 10 years, stood holding his two children, one on each hip, while his wife snapped pictures of him with his new gold badge pinned to his jacket.

Next to him, Jones, who has been with the department for 21 years, stood with his wife and daughter while accepting congratulations from mayor Don Jones.

"It's a big deal," Dennis Jones said. "There is a lot more responsibility. The job won't change much, but there will be more room for growth in the department. Those two captain positions can now be filled."

He said he was thrilled with the direction Chief Johnston has taken the department in his year and a half as chief.

"I love it," he said. "It's very progressive and constantly moving. We don't get stagnant."

Samantha Johnston, who was promoted to lieutenant but still holds the position of training officer, also praised the department and its forward-thinking mindset.

"I'm fortunate to be a part of a department where gender doesn't matter," she said. "It's not necessarily the same for all women in service in other departments."

Most training officers don't hold rank, however Chief Johnston felt Samantha earned the recognition.

"She elevated the position to where rank was deserved," he said. "She raised the bar."

Samantha said she took pride in knowing the department showed confidence in her as a leader.

"I've put a lot of hard work and passion into training and it feels good for the department to recognize the importance of the training program."

Although the hardest work may be ahead of them, the three firefighters were hopeful for the future Craig Fire/Rescue.

Dennis Jones put it simply.

"Bring it on," he said.

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