Firefighter nurse!

Haley Campbell is a lieutenant with the St. Peter's Bay Volunteer Fire Department and a registered nurse on Unit 4 at the QEH

One afternoon in early May, Islanders turned on the news to watch fire crews fighting a forest fire in Lakeside, PEI. Nurses from Unit 4 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital saw something a little extra. 

“Our local hero!” wrote one nurse on Unit 4’s private Facebook page. 

“Haley, sweet girl! I am in awe!” wrote another. 

“Firefighter by day, labour and delivery nurse by night,” wrote yet another. “I offered to do the first four hours of her shift tonight, but she wouldn’t accept. She’s unstoppable!” 

They were talking about their colleague Haley Campbell.  

“My dad has always been in the St. Peter’s Bay fire department,” said Haley. “I grew up around the trucks, so it was pretty natural when I joined myself six years ago.” 

Haley is one of those people who was born to help others. That motivation seemed to be steering her towards nursing. 

“Being a rural department, a lot of our calls end up being medical calls,” she said. “Nursing just felt right. Halfway through my schooling, I discovered maternity nursing. I did my final placement on Unit 4, which includes obstetrics and gynecology.” 

That placement turned into a full-time job, which she’s done while continuing to volunteer with the fire department. 

“I’m a lieutenant now,” she said proudly. 

That Monday in May, Haley was scheduled for an overnight shift in the maternity ward. She woke up mid-day and heard chatter on her radio about a brush fire in Lakeside. It was a windy day, and she could tell the department in Morell was going to need some help. 

“I headed down to the fire hall and texted my dad. He's the chief. Sure enough, Morell was asking for water and manpower.” 

Haley began to suit up as others from the department arrived. Haley had recently trained and been licensed in driving the firetruck, and it was her first turn at the wheel. 

“I’m not doing to lie, that was pretty darn exciting,” said Haley with a laugh. 

The St. Peter’s department arrived on scene just as the fire jumped the road. Many trees lay on the ground from Fiona, providing ample fuel for the fire to spread. The wind didn’t help.  

A second crew arrived shortly after with a water tanker. Their combined efforts were enough to put the fire out. 

“I had to work for 7:30, so I had a few hours to get home, shower, and grab a huge coffee,” said Haley. “When the fire hit the news, that’s when I started to hear from my amazing coworkers.” 

Haley waved away offers of others working part of her shift for her. She was fuelled by adrenaline at that point and couldn’t imagine stopping. 

“It ended up being a great shift,” she said. “I love my job. I love both my jobs.” 

Listen to Haley tell the story in her own words on CBC Radio’s Mainstreet

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Published date: 
June 28, 2023
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