School: Fort McMurray Composite High School Graduate for Class of 2019
Future Goal: To continue volunteering as a firefighter and become a full-time member with the Fort McMurray Fire Department
Written by Dawn Booth, YMM Parent
Lucas Ryan’s demonstration of leadership began at a young age through sports and volunteer commitments in the community while striving towards becoming a firefighter.
By age 16, he started as a junior firefighter for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo at the Saprae Creek Fire Department to train to become a volunteer firefighter, a position he is proud to hold today.
In May 2019, Lucas received the House of Commons Member of Parliament Citizenship Award for his attitude and work-ethic to the department. Through his philanthropic duties, he has responded to medical emergencies, fought fires, assisted residents during the 2020 spring flood and performed many more heroic actions.
“Being a part of this team brings me great pride and I am honoured to represent them. What inspired me to take on this role, initially was my father, Cranley Ryan. He is a long-time firefighter in the region,” he said.
“I am fortunate to have met a mentor in everyone that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. They taught me how to be a better man and a better firefighter. And they have inspired me to start training to become a career firefighter.”
Growing up, Lucas played minor hockey for 10 seasons, starting as a novice player. He calls the volunteers of the Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association some of the most motivating people he’s met and gives them credit for making the sport a big part of his life.
“The volunteer coaches and assistants in the region have always been amazing representatives and teachers in the community. They would sacrifice weekends and evenings to teach us how to work hard, laugh, endure, struggle, overcome, and, most importantly, how to enjoy the game.”
Lucas has also been drawn to the ski hill at Vista Ridge, growing up a 15-minute walk away from it. He would wake up at 8 a.m. every weekend and spend his entire day there. When he turned 12, Lucas started his first job working at the ski hill performing various duties until he was 16.
Lucas said he has a well-rounded understanding of the people who call the Wood Buffalo region home due to the many opportunities he has experienced throughout his life. He believes the residents living here are “strong-willed, resilient people,” who understand the community.
“We have been through recessions, fires, floods and more. And, as a community, we come together to help each other. As a community, our shared hardships have made a bond that no other community can replicate. The people here are determined to make it a place where people want to raise a family and plant roots,” Lucas said.
“The people in Fort McMurray have shown a strong commitment to community involvement like volunteering to sandbag for the Heritage Village or restocking the food bank. There is a bond here between neighbours that only shared hardships can forge.”
“The residents of our region are strong-willed, resilient people… there is a bond here between neighbours that only shared hardships can forge.”
— Lucas Ryan