We have just moved the fire danger hazard to “extreme”. With three days of extreme fire hazard conditions comes the restrictions on high-risk activities. We are anticipating that at noon on Tues, July 13 the following activities will be restricted or banned.
preparation or use of explosives;
using fire- or spark-producing tools, including cutting tools;
using or preparing fireworks or pyrotechnics;
grinding, including rail grinding;
mechanical land clearing;
clearing and maintaining rights of way, including grass mowing;
any of the following activities carried out in a cutblock excluding a road, landing, roadside work area or log sort area in the cutblock:
operating a power saw;
mechanical tree felling, woody debris piling or tree processing, including de-limbing;
portable wood chipping, milling, processing or manufacturing;
skidding logs or log forwarding unless it is improbable that the skidding or forwarding will result in the equipment contacting rock;
It is with great sadness that I report that Retired Fire Chief Dale Chase died suddenly on May 3rd. Dale was Fire Chief on Hornby Island for several years in the late ’90s. Under his watch, HIFR (then HIVFD) was a vibrant group with a full roster of 30 active members. Chief Chase attracted a crew of young, enthusiastic volunteers and ushered in an era of professionalism not often seen in remote rural departments at the time.
Dale’s knowledge of rope work from his caving experience was a huge asset to the Fire Department. Members learned how to safely conduct rope rescues on an island with many cliffs and terrible rock. The knowledge that Dale passed on has been put to the test many times over the years and there can be no doubt that he was integral in helping make the Hornby Island Fire Rescue the superb organization that it is today.
It is tradition at HIFR to acknowledge those volunteers who attended 50 or more calls in the previous calendar year. These awards are usually handed out at our Christmas party but we weren’t able to have a banquet this year.
With ten hours left before the year ends, here are the dedicated members of HIFR who went on at least fifty calls in 2020:
Lt. Rob Lewis with 74 calls
Deputy Chief Albini Lapierre with 51 calls
Paula Courteau with 56 calls
Join me in thanking them for their intense commitment to HIFR and our community.
We went to 170 calls in 2020 but HIFR members attended an astounding number of individual events. Adding up the total number of training sessions, practices, meetings, public service events, and call outs that we went to, I arrive at 1559 person-events!
Everyone here has a different reason for putting in the time that they do, but the support that we receive from our community is a driving factor for so many of us. Thank you and Happy New Year to all of Hornby Island!
For the first time since I moved here in 2007 there will be no Polar Bear Swim… at least not one organized by HIFR. Cancelling traditional community events leaves me very sad, although I remain hopeful that the sacrifices that we make now will result in a quicker return to normal. See you all next year.
Here at HIFR we mark anniversaries in half-decade increments. It’s disappointing that 2020 is a year we can’t get together and celebrate when there were so many long service anniversaries for us:
Faroe DesRoche: 5 years
Deputy Chief Albini Lapierre: 15 years
John Heinegg: 15 years
Sasha LeBaron: 15 years
Jeremy Paine: 15 years
Paula Courteau: 25 years
While all those anniversaries are notable, please join us in congratulating Paula on so many years of dedicated service to our island community!
Also notable is Sasha Lebaron will be retiring at the end of this year to spend more time with his family and to grow his business. Through his time at HIFR, he has served as Training Officer and Lieutenant and has spent dozens of weeks as duty officer .
In 2021, when we can get together again, we will have a proper celebration with letters from the Governor-General, medals, gifts, and handshakes. The dedication and commitment of our fire and first responder crew is inspiring.
With the help of the CVRD, we’ve embarked on a pilot program to help people FireSmart their properties while reducing the amount of wood smoke in the atmosphere. If after reading the attached poster you have questions, please call the Firehall at 250.335.2611.
We are in the middle of building our training center and we have received generous support from a couple of local businesses.
Hyland Precast donated a yard of cement and sent it over on a truck that was headed to Hornby for another job. That saved us hundreds of dollars.
Eben Walmsley does a lot of work around here. He has donated backhoe time for our landscaping project, moved our generator, and is always quick to arrive when we need advice on how to handle an earthworks issue.
AFC is constantly supporting us in many ways. They have loaned us equipment that was here for the school construction. They are also incredibly accommodating when it comes to sharing resources that they bring onto Hornby. However, in my opinion, the biggest way that they support us is by employing several of our members and by allowing them to leave work to attend calls.
HIFR is lucky to enjoy a vast amount of community support, but I want to single those three companies out for going above and beyond.