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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Congratulations to the most recent HIFR members to complete the Hazmat Operations Course and successfully challenge the exam. Albini Lapierre, Faroe DesRoches, John Heinegg, Bailey Gordon, and Scott Towson attended the three-day course which was hosted by the Fanny Bay Fire Department.
Thank you for giving up your weekend to strengthen our team.
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.
Like many rural fire departments, one of the challenges that we face is finding the location of the people that we are trying to help. On a dark and rainy night a visible address sign where the driveway meets the road can make a big difference. You can imagine the difficulties that we encounter when we start down an unmarked driveway, then have to turn around when we realize that it’s not the correct location. This can cost valuable time when getting there as quickly as possible is of huge importance.
In January we did 14 calls and at least three of them were slightly delayed because of lack of address signage. Fortunately, the delays did not affect the outcome but we have been to calls where a similar delay would have had a big impact.
As far as signage goes, anything is better than nothing, but something visible at night can make a difference. Light coloured numbers on a dark background or reflective signs like those in the photo make our jobs so much easier. If you are land partners or have several houses on your property, then signage identifying each of the buildings helps us from taking the wrong fork in the road.
If you would like to order a reflective number sign please call the fire hall at 250.335.2611 and leave a message. Someone will get back to you. Clearly identifying your house reduces the stress for us in trying to get to the right location and increases the odds for a good outcome by getting us there more quickly.
This year’s Cadet Camp will be held on Thursday, March 23. The spring breaks overlap for most school districts so demand for the 20 available spots will be high.
Kids aged 10-14 are welcome to register on our online registration page.
The Hornby Island Fire Rescue cadet camp is a one day workshop where our firefighters teach important fire prevention, safety, and first aid skills. Lunch is provided and the camp is free of charge. All participants and their parents are invited back to the fire hall in the evening where the cadets will demonstrate the skills that they learned during the day.
You can also register your young firefighters by calling the fire hall at 250.335.2611 and leaving a message with the cadet’s name, age, and a contact phone number.