We have added a new way of calling for help. If you are near the fire hall experiencing an emergency and need assistance, you can hit the new panic button at our front door. The button is tied into our monitored alarm system and will result in a duty officer being paged for an unknown emergency at the fire hall.
Response time will be 5-15 minutes. There are no sounds or flashing lights indicating that anything is happening, but the messages and pages happen very quickly.
For all those planning to attend the Dale Chase Memorial this coming Sunday, we would ask that you plan to arrive at the firehall by 2:30 p.m. There is plenty of parking in the gravel yard next door. The procession is planned for a start time of 2:45 p.m.
After skipping the last two years, we are proud to be able to host the Hornby Island Blues Camp bass workshops in our apparatus bay. Anytime we can find an alternative use for our community fire hall it’s high fives all around.
This morning a concrete mixer ended up on its side on Central Road. The incident happened when the driver moved the truck to the right of the road, concerned about oncoming traffic. The very soft shoulder grabbed his tire, sloughed away and put him into a deep ditch. No injuries were reported.
Two minor oil leaks into the ditch were mitigated by fire crews and no environmental damage occurred. Company representatives were on scene within an hour to organize a vehicle extraction operation, including an environmental hazard response team on scene. Our appreciation goes out to the ready-mix company for their incredibly quick, environmentally responsible, and compassionate response.
To anyone held up by the road closure, thanks for your patience.
One of my favourite parts of this job is advancing rookies up to the rank of firefighter. That event usually follows two years of training, six hours of practical exams, and a two-hour written test. The practical exam covers portable pump operations and troubleshooting, deploying attack lines, putting equipment back in service, ropes, knots, hoisting, ladders, and many other skills.
I’m pleased to announce that Innes Hood, Alex Ortwein, and Ian Graboski have been promoted to “firefighter”. Their commitment to our team and our island community is inspiring.
We were fortunate to be approved to receive a $12,000 grant from the Red Cross for community resilience. We took advantage of that grant by purchasing a new cargo trailer to store and transport our structure protection equipment.
We can use this equipment to protect houses in the path of an oncoming wildfire and includes things like sprinklers, hoses, pumps, fittings, and portable ponds. The trailer can be taken to a neighbourhood, and the equipment deployed to prevent structures from being set on fire by sparks and firebrands.
There will be a bunch of work to build shelving and custom storage racks, but we hope to have it fully in service by the summer fire season. It will spend its time here on Hornby but could be deployed for short periods to help out our neighbours on Denman, or in extreme cases, on Vancouver Island.
Big thanks to the Red Cross, the Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC, and the CVRD staff for helping with the application and licensing process.
We are often asked how to dispose of expired or damaged flares. Ideally, they would be taken back to the point of purchase, but that is sometimes impossible when shops move or go out of business, or when the owner forgets where they bought the flares.
Here is a great opportunity to safely dispose of any old flares.