As many of you know from seeing us around the island every Thursday night, we practice. Rain or shine, (okay we did take one snow day this year) we are out at various places on Hornby to try and refine our skills as firefighters.
After practice we do a debriefing to discuss what went right, where we can improve, and how to best do our jobs.
A perk after the hard work is “after practice snacks”. It’s at this time that we can do a little socializing and have some yummy treats to recharge our energy levels.
Over the last while, we have been lucky enough to have a generous patron in the Co-op. They have set up a system to give us a little help with the supplies that we buy to make the treats and beverages that we consume at the end of the night.
So a big thanks to the Co-op and all the amazing staff there from all of us at Hornby Island Fire Rescue. It’s so great to have the support of our community and the Co-op.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all. As we enjoy our day of gift giving Santa wants to remind all the kiddies to please not burn your wrapping paper in your fireplaces or wood stoves. Wrapping paper is full of coatings and chemicals and can make your house more prone to a chimney fire. Be fire smart and keep your chimney clean, your smoke detector full of fresh batteries and a cup of water next to your wood stove in case you do get a chimney fire. Toss in the single cup and close the door but only if it’s safe to do so.
Please also remember that if you do have a chimney fire dial 911 and let us deal with it.
Have a safe and happy holiday from all the members of HIFR!
Of all the moments at HIFR, one of the proudest for a member is moving from Rookie to Firefighter.
While we train and train, and attend calls throughout our tenures on the department, the moment of attaining that designation is a symbol of something uniquely Hornby Island as well.
Our training at the department is done to provincial standards. Make no mistake, this team is dedicated to the highest level of professionalism for our community. But (and this is important), HIFR also has an in house test that is all about being the best firefighter in this unique community. We test ourselves on our own specific requirements. Cities have fire hydrants, Hornby has water tanks and shuttle trucks. Cities have dumpster fires, Hornby has chimney fires. In a nutshell we have unique challenges and as such have developed methods that work here. Our trucks have our equipment and we need to understand how things work here.
But the biggest and most important piece of becoming a firefighter is the fact that all the members are endorsing the newest firefighter as a capable, competent team member who they literally trust with their lives.
Welcome Faroe Des Roches! A member who has been dedicated to not only training herself, but has also previously trained other firefighters. Who maintains a job that takes her off island for lengthy periods of time but has managed to stay connected and talented on the department. A member for the future with her enthusiasm and ability to have many years of service. We are so proud to have you as our newest Hornby Island Fire Rescue Firefighter!
While the rate of structure fires in communities across Canada, and here on our home Hornby Island is thankfully infrequent; the physical demands and challenges presented to firefighters, is taxing to say the least.
While we train as a group on a regular basis, there is a breed of firefighter that thrives on going the extra mile and training to a level above and beyond that of the norm. Enter the Firefit games.
Started in 1994 at the PNE, the Firefit games are hailed as the toughest two minutes in sports. Having seen it live, the author must agree. A friendly and exciting challenge for firefighters from across the country, the event mimics exercises that might be encountered in a live fire situation in a firefighter’s home town. Climbing six stories with a 40-pound hose pack, pulling a hose donut up those six stories by rope, forcible entry with a 500-pound dead weight needing to be moved, pulling and using hoses full of water, all topped off with the rescue of a 175 pound victim. Only the fittest will finish, let alone with a noteworthy time.
And yet here on Hornby we have two firefighters who rose to the challenge and did just that. On May 11 in Courtenay the regional Firefit competition took place with firefighters from across BC and Alberta. And Hornby’s very own Jasper Savoie and Doug Chinnery did HIFR and its community proud. Weeks of in-house training with improvised tools, and the dedication to spending the extra time needed to face off the best from around the west led to times that topped some of the finest firefighters that other departments put forward. With times of 2:03 and 2:57, Jasper and Doug showed that HIFR has some of the most elite firefighters around.
The department is proud of our members as a whole, but these two went the extra mile and we couldn’t be any happier that they showed the broader firefighting community what our little volunteer department has on offer.
If you see Jasper or Doug in your daily travels, congratulate them for their dedication to training and the department.
Effective noon Wednesday September 19, 2018, backyard burning will be allowed in the Coastal Fire Service jurisdiction. The notice which can be reached by clicking on the image below reinforces some best practices.
Local bylaws are in place which means that permits are required for all backyard burning until conditions improve some more.
Please check the venting index and avoid burning on windy days. The venting index can be reached by clicking on the venting index image on the right.
Please ensure that you have tools such as shovels and water at hand to help manage your fire.
For all permits or any questions please call the firehall at 335-2611 and we would be happy to help you with your call.
HIFR was recently asked about accepting donations to our volunteer fund in memory of one of our most recent patients; Vickie MacDonald. Her family (husband Ian, and children Mike and Allison) have asked if we could create a way to donate to our volunteer fund in memory of Vickie.
You can visit our Volunteer Fund page to find out ways to donate or click on the link below.
Thank you to the MacDonald family and all supporters for their generosity.
Here is an interesting article on the ventilation system at our new Firehall. We recently had a small routine repair on a part, and one of the designers wrote a very interesting article on how they tackled a unique challenge in the design of our building.
Click the picture for a link to the complete article.
As we all know, the air we breathe can be subject to lots of pollutants. From cars to factories to our very own burn piles in the wetter months. While it may be safe to burn from a fire prevention standpoint, it’s important to check the venting index for our area to make sure that the smoke and particulate can easily dissipate. You will see on the side of the page a link to a great new interactive map that shows the venting indexes all over the province. Please be neighbourly and check the index before you light up your pile. We will also leave the link here for a little while so everyone can get used to it. Just click the picture of the map and it will get you where you need to go. Thanks.