We’ve now been to 2 chimney fires in under a month. Fortunately no one was hurt and no property was damaged. There was a common theme to both of our calls that is worth mentioning. That theme is a wood stove connected to a chimney with a horizontal pipe.
Any horizontal surface will collect stuff, whether it’s knick-knacks on a kitchen shelf or creosote in a chimney. It seems that in both cases the fire started near to the joint where the horizontal component of the stovepipe connected to the main chimney. The good news is that usually this stovepipe is relatively easy to clean. The bad news is that it is often forgotten when the rest of the chimney is cleaned.
If you have one of these setups, make sure that the elbows out of the wood stove get taken apart and thoroughly cleaned as part of your regular cleaning schedule. Also, if you have this type of setup, you will want to clean out the stove pipe more often than those with a strictly vertical chimney system.
If you should discover a chimney fire, throw 1 cup of water into the firebox, close the door and the damper on the stove. Then call 911, and leave the house. One cup of water will expand to 1500 cups of steam which can go a long way to cooling the fire without damaging the flue.
Our contractor has completed the installation and plumbing our latest water storage tank at the corner of DePape and Porpoise. The tank has been filled over the last few days and is now fully functional.
Normally we would fill the tank by shuttling 15 loads of water from the fire hall to the tank with our tanker. Fortunately, with all of the recent rain, the creek beside the tank has been running quite strongly and we were able to fill the tank with a portable pump.
When the ground dries out a bit the contractor will return to fix up the landscaping. Look for another fantastic mural by a local artist shortly after that.
Perriwinkle Road is next in line for plumbing and filling.
Hornby Island Fire Rescue was well represented in the 2011 incarnation of the Polar Bear Swim. Len Olsen, Doug Chinnery, Julian Laffin, and Patrick Lui all went for a swim at Grassy Point to ring in the New Year.
HIFR wishes you and your family a happy, prosperous, and safe New Year.
To risk your life on behalf of your community, that’s a special vocation; to volunteer to risk your life on behalf of your community, that’s a special Canadian. Volunteer firefighters provide an essential service to Canadians and our communities.
Some Volunteer Fire Departments in Canada have been forced to close because of a lack of volunteers. When these Departments close, communities often lose their only emergency responder service and are no longer sufficiently protected from fire and other emergencies.
The Government of Canada can play a vital role in solving the problems recruiting and retaining volunteer firefighters. From a survey of its members, the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) reports that over 95% stated that personal income tax relief would help them recruit new volunteers and retain those that have already been trained. That is why Canada’s Fire Chiefs are proposing the introduction of a $3,000 tax credit for volunteer firefighters who perform more than 200 hours of service in a given year.
Volunteer firefighters deserve some credit! Please support Canada’s volunteer firefighters by writing to the Finance Minister – just click on Take Action to share your support for this important initiative.
At 1PM on Christmas Eve we got a Duty Officer call reporting trees down across the power lines to the Recycling Depot. The Deputy and the Chief arrived on scene to find 2 trees had blown over, taken out the hydro lines and were blocking the road. Sixteen cars and their passengers were trapped at the Depot unable to escape.
After determining that the power lines were dead, we limbed and cut the trees to create a slot large enough for a car to drive through. Stani, the Depot manager, used the back hoe to move the cut logs and all of the trapped people were able to leave. Christmas was saved!
From all of us at Hornby Island Fire Rescue, have a great Christmas, and we hope you all have a prosperous and fulfilling New Year. Be safe and drive carefully.
While some of us were practicing with the basket stretcher, and filling the Sandpiper water tank other HIFR elves were decorating the hall. It only took a few hours for a group of them to turn the fire hall into a Christmas postcard.
From everyone at HIFR to everyone on Hornby Island and anywhere else, “Happy Holidays!”. Have a safe and fire free season.
Our current airpacks or “Self Contained Breathing Apparatus” (SCBA) are almost 20 years old. They get used at almost every practice and at every fire scene and are showing their age. The maintenance required to keep them in service is becoming so expensive and time consuming that we’re looking at replacing them.
We brought in 4 different setups from the big 3 manufacturers: Scott, MSA, and Draeger. Using a 10 page evaluation form, 3 of our firefighters ran the air packs through their paces.
Every aspect of the packs were evaluated: Comfort, weight, ease of donning, changing the air tank, and durability of materials are only a few of the capabilities that we looked at. The results have tabulated and we are now in talks with the CVRD to move forward to the next step.