A Vancouver firefighter is taking a leave of absence to serve in the Canadian infantry in Afghanistan this September.

Ron Delaurier, who will serve as a rifleman in an infantry company, said his training with fire services will be beneficial when he is stationed overseas.

“Being a firefighter has made me a better soldier because the military is the same way,” Delaurier said.

“They will teach you drills for certain scenarios but nothing works like a drill in real life. You have to be able to think on your feet and work as a group.”

While Delaurier will be serving with the army, his duties won’t be restricted to patrolling and fighting. There will be a humanitarian aspect as well.

“We’re there to help the people (of Afghanistan), to support them, find out what they need, help them with projects,” Delaurier said.

“Whether it’s rebuilding schools, roads, a village at a time, a city at a time, (we’re trying to) get the trust of the people and to show that we are there to support them so they can move forward.”