Published In The Great North Arrow, May 2022: Don't Ever Stop. Do It For Them

Jesse James Bond: Firefighter
- jim Young

"Just being able to help the people is what's important to me," Jesse Bond

When you're born with a name like "Jesse James Bond" you might find yourself wondering if you are destined to become an Outlaw or a Hero.

My nephew Jesse however, never seemed to have any such identity crisis. Jesse knew from the beginning that he wanted to be a hero and from the time he started to talk, all Jesse ever talked about was one day becoming a firefighter.

Following in the footsteps of a great-grandfather, two of his grandfathers and, joining forces with several cousins and his brother, Jesse donned his first fireman’s helmet in 2008 at 18 to become part of another family, the brotherhood of firefighters. 

Not content to just “do”, by 2014 Jesse was living in the United Arab Emirates teaching basic rope rescue, firefighting techniques and medical response to the men working on the oil rigs there. 

Jesse’s firefighting knowledge and expertise along with his teaching abilities also took him to the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and Oman.

Seeking to continue to teach his trade, once back home in Ontario, Jesse joined the Southwest Fire Academy in Delhi, Ontario. When Jesse became owner of the academy, he purchased his former public school in Waubaushene and moved the facilities there in 2021, taking on one of his firefighter cousins as a partner.

The name's Bond -  
Jesse James Bond
The SFA currently provides training to over 60 fire departments and industrial clients in Ontario and across the world and even has a contract with a company in Abu Dhabi where Jesse got his start as an instructor. The quality and reputation of the Southwest Fire Academy, which is an approved training provider through the Office of the Fire Marshal, is well known worldwide. They are also a Registered Private Career College.

As if owning and operating a fire academy isn’t enough to keep him busy, Jesse continues to work as a full time firefighter with the Orangeville Fire Department and a part time firefighter in both Tay Township and Georgian Bay.

It was part of these duties with the Tay Township Fire Department that called Jesse to a fire that broke out on January 8, 2018 at the home of the Stanley family in Waubaushene. By the time firefighters arrived, two of the four people had been evacuated. Tay Township’s Deputy Fire Chief Shawn Aymer, along with volunteers Jesse Bond, Earl Grigg and Brian Jarvis entered the building and rescued the two remaining occupants that had been trapped on the second floor.

Sometimes a hero arises when the right person is at the right place at the right time. But firefighters are always on call to be the right people to get to the right place at the right time as often as possible. Thankfully for the Stanley Family, this was one of those times.

Having previously been awarded Medals of Valour, last month Jesse, along with his comrades were recognized and awarded the Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery. Only 247 of these medals have been awarded since 1976.

In 2018, four Tay Township firefighters were awarded
The Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery.
From left, then-Fire Chief Brian Thomas, Shawn Aymer, Jesse Bond,
Earl Grigg, Brian Jarvis and then-Mayor Scott Warnock.

Jesse Bond is not only a hero deserving of the honours bestowed on him, like most firefighters, he is a hero every day, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year. Above and beyond that, Jesse’s dedication compels him to teach others to become heroes as well.

Literally wearing his heart on his sleeve, the ink on Jesse’s arm reads what he believes in his heart. “Don’t ever stop. Do it for them.” 

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