photos: Victoria vendor Craig Baron took this self-portrait of himself when he was a volunteer firefighter.

My firefighting days

Vendor Profile: Victoria vendor Craig Baron talks about his two proudest accomplishments.

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“I was one of a crew for firefighting.

“This included dwelling fires (house or barns, etc.), bush fires or grass, car fires, and forest fires. Yes, even car accidents.

“I had no formal training in doing this—only at weekly practice sessions or on the spot.

“This fire hall was outside the city district. Hence, it was an unmanned station. We carried around a pager, which included a home charger.

“You became a full-fledged member when the fire chief issued you a key to enter the fire station. I received one such key.

“All of us members were volunteers (in the truest sense of the word)—never was paid for our services.

“I was holding down a full-time job at the same time. Please do not ask me why I left.

“Years later, I went back to school. I got formal training as a professional cook.

“This was from batch cooking to fine dining. I went to one or two schools that had a specific curriculum. It was broken down into certain categories. For example, breakfast, salads, vegetables, etc.

"The course was 100 per cent work. I was constantly studying.

“Cooking is my passion to this day, but it’s harder for me to do now.

“I had to give up on all of this, due to being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

“These two things are my proudest accomplishments.

“This is why it is hard for me to think of myself. It’s easier for me to think of others. I would like to say thank you to those people I deal with.

“May you all be satisfied and safe.”

Craig Baron sells outside the London Drugs on Yates Street, between Quadra and Vancouver Street in Victoria. His hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Craig Baron took these self-portraits.

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