HIFR Installs Fire Extinguishers at Elder Housing

The Hornby Island Elder Housing Village is a convenient and affordable housing village for Islanders 55 years and older. The society that operates the village relies on the generosity of Hornby Islanders and the goodwill of volunteers to keep the rents as low as possible.

Chief LaRose volunteered the better part of a Saturday installing over a dozen fire extinguishers in the dwelling units ensuring that each unit has a working extinguisher. Thanks for your work, Giff.

Cloud Retires After 35 Years

David Cloud teaching pumps to Paula and Francis. Photo by Bob Cain - 1996

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.

BC Long Service Medal

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.”

BC Long Service Bar

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.

Fall Faire

Ashe Samuel about to ring the bell

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.

HIFR Helps with Clinic Move

Congratulations to the New Clinic Committee and the Hornby Island community in general. Funded by the community, and built almost exclusively using volunteer labour, there is a beautiful new medical clinic for the island.

HIFR is proud to have played a part in this project by doing some remedial floor support work and then again on Saturday by helping the move. Doug, John, Embers, Sheree, and Julian gave up a few hours to finish the move of some cabinets, desks, and other furniture.

Cadet Camp 2011 Wraps Up

This year’s Cadet Camp was a great success with sunny, warm weather and fun, interested participants.

On Wednesday morning the cadets cut apart a car with our hydraulic tools, learned how to escape a burning building, navigated a maze filled with theatrical smoke, and experimented with fire behaviour. After a great lunch of homemade pasta with cheese sauce and salad we took the trucks to the school parking lot. There they learned how to use a hose line and sprayed a lot of water and foam.

Thursday morning was spent learning first aid skills by patching each other up according to a “wheel of fortune of injuries”, and learning the ins and outs of the 911 system. We were able to do an actual 911 call to fire dispatch to watch the system work from calling 911 to when our pagers go off. Lunch was chili with home baked bread followed by ice cream sundaes. The afternoon was spent extinguishing both oil fires and wood fires using a variety of extinguishers.

To cap it all off, the cadets returned to the firehall with their parents later in the evening for a firefighter challenge. It was a great opportunity to show off their newly learned skills. They went through a course involving finding their way out of a smoky maze, rescuing a baby along the way. They then dragged a charged hoseline 50′ and had to knock over a traffic cone with the hosestream. They completed the circuit by dragging a dummy 50′ back to the starting point.

Once everyone had completed the course we all retired upstairs for desserts, certificates, and a few special awards. Big thanks to all the kids who participated. You make it all worth it.

Extra thanks to all the firefighters who took time off of work, or who simply gave p a day or two of their lives to make this successful. Extra special thanks to Rachelle, Theresa, and Jules who aren’t even on the department, but who worked tirelessly to make such fabulous food for all of us.

See you all next year!

Give Firefighters Credit

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.

HIFR Volunteers At New Clinic Project

Ten members of the fire department gave up a Saturday to retrofit some additional floor supports in the new clinic. We installed 14 new footings in the crawlspace of the clinic. These footings will bear the weight of 6×6 posts that will support the existing beams midspan.

All of the concrete was mixed outside of the crawlspace, loaded into 5 gallon buckets, and pushed on dollies to the forms that were being filled. Saddles were then placed on the footings to hold the posts.

Hornby Island Fire Rescue is proud to be a part of this massive community effort to build our new medical clinic. We have a special stake in this building since it is where most of our medical calls either end or start out. We all feel a little more connected to the building having worked on it.