‘Moving up the ladder’: Craig Fire/Rescue promotes two firefighters | CraigDailyPress.com

‘Moving up the ladder’: Craig Fire/Rescue promotes two firefighters

Firefighters Matt Beckett, left, and Brian Slaight stand outside Craig Fire/Rescue’s station house at 419 Yampa Ave. The two men were recently promoted within the department. Slaight, who’s been a member of the department since 2002, moved up to the rank of battalion captain. Beckett, a firefighter since 2008, took Slaight’s position as the batallion’s lieutenant.





Firefighters Matt Beckett, left, and Brian Slaight stand outside Craig Fire/Rescue's station house at 419 Yampa Ave. The two men were recently promoted within the department. Slaight, who's been a member of the department since 2002, moved up to the rank of battalion captain. Beckett, a firefighter since 2008, took Slaight's position as the batallion's lieutenant.
Ben McCanna

Quotable:

"I have all the confidence in the world that they'll maintain the honor and professionalism of firefighting."

— KC Hume, Craig Fire/Rescue batallion chief, on newly promoted members Brian Slaight and Matt Beckett

Brian Slaight has been involved with Craig Fire/Rescue in one capacity or another for 17 years. Being in the fraternity of firefighters is an important part of his life, one in which he was able to celebrate a new milestone Thursday night.

Slaight was promoted to the rank of captain in Craig Fire/Rescue, taking over the slot left by former Capt. Steve Lingo in the department's B Battalion. Replacing Slaight as a lieutenant will be Matt Beckett. The two were honored in a ceremony Thursday during the department's monthly meeting.

Slaight said he has been interested in firefighting his entire life, after being raised around his father, Doug, who worked in the field for 20 years before retiring. He started as a cadet in 1994 before becoming a full-time department member in 2002.

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He attained the rank of lieutenant in October 2010.

"I just want to keep moving up the ladder," he said. "I wanted to be a firefighter ever since I was little. It's my way of giving back to the community when it's needed."

As a captain, Slaight will oversee personnel and day-to-day duties within the department. He will also work closely with Beckett, his replacement and newest fellow officer.

"I think Matt and I will work great together and with the other officers," Slaight said. "He's got a lot of fire and passion for the work."

Beckett, who joined the force in January 2008, will have a responsibility for training new recruits following his promotion. Part of the training includes impressing on newcomers that firefighting is not for "adrenaline junkies," he said.

"When I joined, I found out real quick that there was more to it than that," he said. "It was different than what I expected and it turned out to be 100 times better. I fell in love with it right away. It's an overwhelming sense of community pride."

Beckett juggles his duties with Craig Fire/Rescue with his regular job as Moffat County director of the Grand Futures Prevention Coalition.

Each job allows him to serve the community while making time for the other, he said.

"They're very flexible," he said.

Batallion Chief KC Hume said Slaight and Beckett were selected for their new positions because of their "leadership qualities within the organization." While "acts of heroism" are taken into consideration for any candidate up for a promotion, effectiveness within the department's infrastructure is just as important for officer positions, Hume said.

"I think they'll both hit the ground running," he said. "I expect great things from both of them."

Hume said he has no doubt that both men will transition into their new roles seamlessly.

"I have all the confidence in the world that they'll maintain the honor and professionalism of firefighting," he said.

Quotable:

“I have all the confidence in the world that they’ll maintain the honor and professionalism of firefighting.”

— KC Hume, Craig Fire/Rescue batallion chief, on newly promoted members Brian Slaight and Matt Beckett

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