Water Bomber over Helliwell

I was sorting though a bunch of papers in the office today and came across this gem from 1990.  I’m not sure who took it. Most of our photos around here were taken by Bob Cain but this doesn’t have his stamp on it.  I hope it may serve as a reminder to ensure that your camp fires are out when you leave them. We don’t want a repeat of that event anywhere on Hornby, ever again.

MARS Water Bomber over Helliwell August 1990

Air Ambulance Meeting

L to R: Tammy Schiere (aviation QA for BCAS); Geoff Burkholder (pilot for Helijet); Sonya Tietjen (Safety Manager Helijet); and Dan Baker (Chief Pilot Helijet)

Chief Doug Chinnery and Deputy Chief Quana Parker met at the Lefevre airstrip with representatives of Helijet and BC Ambulance to discuss safety and efficiency improvements for night time air evacuations. There were three main concerns:

  • lack of appropriate landing zone lights
  • unavailable communication channels between the agencies
  • inability of HIFR to get trucks close enough to the landing zone in the wet months

We believe that we have hammered out solutions to all of the problems:

  • We have procured a loan of portable landing zone lights until we can purchase our own.
  • We are reprogramming our portable radios to access the appropriate frequencies.
  • We will be brushing out an old access road and bringing in some gravel to get us closer to where the pilots want to land.

Once we have all the concerns addressed we will do a practice to ensure that all of the systems can be deployed efficiently. Helijet will then schedule a practice run where we will run through a multi agency practice run testing out all aspects of the new procedures.

Huge thanks to the four great folks that came up to ensure that night time air evacs are as safe as they can be. Also, thanks to Ken Craig of BC Ambulance for the loan of the landing zone lights. And special thanks, as always, to Chris Lefevre for his extremely generous gift to our community… the use of his air strip for medical emergencies.


Retirement Party!

The entire Hornby community is invited to Giff’s retirement party on May 13th at noon. We’d love to host everyone at the new fire hall but we’re not sure that it’ll be ready so… the old fire hall is the location. There’ll be cake, tea, coffee, and some finger foods although if you have something that you can contribute we’d be very appreciative. Please come and help us honour Giff’s many years of dedicated public service.

Thursday Practice At Your House

Too often we end up going to the same locations for our Thursday evening practices. It would be great if we had a few spots where we could run a practice, especially a place where we haven’t been in the last few years.

If you are a home owner and would be comfortable having HIFR conduct a practice at your house there are many benefits:

  • We’d become familiar with your property, your buildings, and the best ways to access them,
  • We’d be able to give you some pointers on how to better fire proof your property for the dry summer season,
  • We’d be able to determine if your home was within reach of one of the community water tanks or if we would have to shuttle water in a truck,
  • You and your kids would be able to have a close look at how we operate and as well as get a close look at our trucks and equipment,
  • It’s a fun way to help out your Fire Department.

We’d be at your place between 7:45PM and 9PM and would probably spray water somewhere in your yard where it wouldn’t harm anything. We wouldn’t need access to the inside of your house.

If this sounds like something that you’d like to participate in, please send an email or call the Fire Hall at 250.335.2611  and leave a message.

Watch out for MLMs

A resident recently found one of these Military Location Markers or MLM on Big Trib and called us to let us know where it was. When we went to pick it up we noticed that it was completely intact and fully charged. Normally they are found having been discharged.

Fully charged or discharged, these devices can be extremely dangerous. They contain a phosphorous powder which is highly flammable and burns extremely hot. Occasionally a small amount of powder is left in them and would cause a serious injury if spilled on skin.

The folks at CFB Comox take a washed up MLM very seriously and usually show up within 24 hours to pick it up. If you find one of these devices please do one of the following:

  • call the Duty Desk at CFB Comox at 1-866-488-0889 and tell them the location of the MLM
  • call 911, ask for fire, and request a “duty officer” call to retrieve an MLM.

Thank you, Dave Colley

We had a four and a half hour call today that ended with our patient getting flown to hospital. Everyone from the air ambulance crew to our fantastic doctor, to the patient’s family did a fabulous job to stabilize and transport the patient to hospital. Special thanks have to go out to Dave Colley who brought his backhoe over on quick notice to clear the airstrip driveway and landing pad.