Currently I am Full–time Professor at a Community College, my previous experience in the Emergency Services, I was a volunteer firefighter, 911 dispatcher, moved into full time, became a First Class F, Firefighter (duties during my career were Rescue Truck, Pumper, Tanker, Ariel Truck,) after I retired that is when I conceptualized and brought the first Fire fighting training to our community college, creating partnerships with numerous with Local and Large Municipalities Fire departments, along with the Provincial Government as well as Federal Military and International Airport Firefighting and since trained hundreds of which I am very pleased are now full time firefighters, in addition supporting local departments with their volunteer fire training.
2. What is your favorite part of working for your department?
One of the areas that I reflect back upon is the feeling of pride in wearing the uniform, team environment and being able to be in a position to help others.
3. How do you define success?
I believe success can be defined in a variety of different ways, a lot of people define success as monetary, but for me success is to have a
dream or a vision and the determination to follow it through, continue to pursue this, gaining little steps as you progress, engage all the diversity and criticism as a learning tool whether good or bad, but continue on, until you have reached the plateau level you were striving
4. What have you learned over your lifetime that you'd like to share with the younger generation?
As a college professor I actually do this on a regular basis, because my students for the most are of the younger generation, one of the most important factors I try to relate to them is how important they are, and how proud I am of them because they have made it this far in their educational success. Learn to embrace the past, learn from it, expand on it, and continue to move forward and to enjoy
life, respect themselves as well as others and finally using the cliché “when one door shuts another one opens”, so do not despair when someone says no because they will, look at it as an opportunity for improvement.
I love to fish, but I really love to play my guitar, sing and create music.
6. Who has had the greatest influence on you?
There have been so many over the years from family members, friends to the great Johnny Cash, Elvis, and Merle Haggard in the music side of things to outstanding Heads of State in my mind such as President Kennedy. I like people that are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, these are the people that I have learned from the most.
7. What will be your legacy? Is the world better because of you/your work/your influence?
I would very much like to believe like so many other Emergency Services Workers, Military Personnel, that due to being on the job at the right time in their lives that I had made a difference, and to all the students over the years saying something like “if it wasn’t for Don I would not of had the opportunity”.
8. What's the funniest work story/ event you remember?
There were so many, but one that stands out, we had this Rookie first time on the floor, we were on night shift, as you know up here in Canada our winters get a little nasty, so before we went to bed “yes sometimes we did” I opened all the windows, it was freezing in the room but nobody could get any rest but we pretended to, because I told the rookie the Captain liked lots of fresh air when he is sleeping, so under our blankets we laughed our heads off especially when snow was coming in the windows, the poor guy was shivering all night. He stayed with it, he is a Platoon Chief today.
9. Is there anything I haven't asked about that you would care to comment on?
Just a little on the song we wrote “don’t call me a hero” PSTD was not a common phrase when this happened to me, I am so glad the Industry for the most part has agreed upon the importance of dealing with this, verses our old days when our treatment was going our favorite bar and drowning the memoires for another night.
10. What is your favorite dinner & what do you drink with it?
My favorite dinner is a good old BBQ Steak, although my wife is for chicken or fish, and lots of green stuff she says is good for me, back in
the day a few beers would go good and the wife would enjoy her wine, now since we are as pure as the white driven snow lols, pop, and
Date of Instrument: September 29, 1986
Date of Presentation: December 5, 1986
Firefighter Donald Roy Ferguson, M.B.
Firefighter Donald Thomas Murdoch, M.B.
Shortly after midnight on 29 March 1985, the Whitby, Ontario, Fire Department was informed that two
children were trapped in a house fire. Within minutes, Firefighters Ferguson and Murdoch entered the burning building and, in zero visibility and intense heat, went in search of its occupants. When Firefighter Ferguson heard a child's cries
for help, he guided his steps through the long smoke-filled corridor by placing his hands on the wall. Concentrating on the young victim's voice, he located the ten-year-old girl in her bed. As he left the bedroom with the child, he met Firefighter Murdoch an proceeded towards the exit. The trio was crossing the kitchen area when a ball of flames suddenly knocked Firefighter Ferguson and the little girl to the floor. Firefighter Murdoch seized the child and carried her outside while Firefighter Ferguson exited on his own. Despite severely burned
hands, Firefighter Ferguson re-entered the house, found the other child in her crib and carried her out of the inferno.