The weather was perfect and the crowd was huge for this year’s polar bear swim. About 80 swimmers took to the water and a crowd of over 250 enjoyed hotdogs and hot chai, compliments of HIFR.
We were practicing skills to rescue ourselves and other firefighters at our last practice. Pat got to do a window bailout and was inspired to tell all about it.
On a winter day in February 1976, wanting to help out his community, David Cloud joined the Hornby Island Volunteer Fire Department. At that time there was a Chief and a Deputy Chief. Cloud became the only firefighter. Since that day he has seen 10 chiefs come and go in his 35 years of service.
While Cloud’s contributions to the department were varied and numerous, his legacy will no doubt be remembered in three ways. He was the guy that brought the use of breathing apparatus to the department; he was the first trained medical responder and ushered in our current medical program; he pitched the idea of a local fire patrol and was the first patroller. All three of those programs are not only still a part of us, but are significant in defining our department.
In 2001, after 25 years of service, the Lieutenant Governor, Iona V. Campagnolo, came to Hornby Island to present David with the “British Columbia Long Service Medal ” to “… recognize the dedication and selflessness with which these individuals have served their community and this province in the protection of life and property.”
Just this year our chief, Giff LaRose, presented Cloud with the “British Columbia Long Service Bar” for his 35 years of service. Throughout his volunteering career with the fire department David felt he could contribute most effectively as a firefighter and he declined many offers to become an officer.
When thinking of how people give back, it is hard to come up with an example of dedication and giving as incredible as David Cloud’s. Thirty-five years of giving up at least one night a week, some weeks many more, demonstrates a commitment to the health and protection of the community that is unparalleled.
When I asked Cloud if he had any parting thoughts for the department or for the community at large he responded by saying how pleased he was that the department has grown into the capable organization that it is. He says he feels great pride in being able to lay the foundation for what our department has become.
From all of us at HIFR, past members, and the community at large, thank you, David. You are an inspiration.
Summer has gone and the fall training season is upon us. This is the time where we train our new recruits to be firefighters. This is not some backwoods training. we train our firefighters to the industry standard qualifications. If you go through our entire training program you will have the qualifications necessary to get a job at a career department.
Joining the fire department is extremely rewarding. I know I’m not alone in saying that I’ve gotten more out of the department than I’ve put in.
Please call myself (Doug Chinnery 335.3444) or our chief (Giff LaRose 335.1115) if you have any questions. There are applications available at the free post in the Fire Department box, or download one here.
The Hornby Island Fall Faire is the favorite island event of many people. We at the fire department feel that way as well. It’s a great time to show off our #1 engine, stir up interest in joining the department, and distribute some smoke detectors.
This year’s faire was even more fun due to Lloyd House’s amazing contribution. Lloyd built a “Test Your Strength” machine, otherwise known as a “high striker” and gave it to us to raise money for our volunteer fund. We offered 3 tries to ring the bell for 1 dollar and raised in the neighborhood of $180!
Lloyd’s high striker was a huge hit with the crowd. Big and small and old and young lined up to smash the machine and at times there were 50 or 60 spectators hooting, hollering, and cheering.
Huge thanks from us to the Fall Faire organizers and especially to Lloyd House for his incredible high striker machine. That kind of community spirit is what makes us live here.