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.
North Island 911 and the Campbell River Dispatch Center have released the call volume numbers for the first half of 2019. Of the 62 fire departments that they dispatch, HIFR is the 23rd busiest department. Last year we finished in 22nd place.
Yesterday we retired our old rescue truck, and at last night’s practice we welcomed its replacement. It’s a 2006 Ford F550 that we acquired courtesy of Oyster River Fire Rescue. Over the last half year, we have tweaked and changed, and painted, and just before this year’s busy season we were able to put it into service.
We’ve affectionately named it “64” after its predecessor, although it’s often referred to by its less official nickname, “New 64”.
The “wetting down” ceremony is a long-standing tradition dating back to the days of horse-drawn fire trucks. In those days, the firefighters would unhook the truck from the horses, wash it, then push it into the garage by hand. It became a tradition that fire departments follow whenever a new apparatus arrives.
Thanks to our friends at the Campbell River Fire Dispatch Center for providing the inaugural page to welcome the new truck. Thank you also to Rachelle for the photos.
A good friend retired. Our old and faithful 1981 International rescue truck came out of service yesterday after steadfastly serving our community for 36 years.
When it first arrived on Hornby it was named “61” and was the first-out engine. It had a front mounted pump on a large platform as you can see in the photo to the right. In 2006 a new pumper truck arrived and became 61. The old International had its water tank and pump removed, was refitted with cabinets to become a general purpose rescue truck, and was renamed “64”. It transported our high angle rescue gear, our auto extrication tools, the trail rescue equipment, and our wildfire gear.
It always starts, runs like a champ, and has been a great truck. We even used it to transport a patient when the starter died on our patient transport vehicle. Sure, it spews carbon monoxide and leaks a bit of oil, but who among us doesn’t have similar problems.
All across the Comox Valley Regional District, fire departments have been using different guidelines when considering high-risk activities during times of extreme fire hazard. We have all now settled on one consistent set of rules.
It’s been a pretty good run for campfires this year but this heat has dried up any moisture in the ground and the BC Ministry of Forests has declared a campfire ban. The ban comes into effect on Wed, July 18 at noon.
CSA approved propane appliances are still allowed as are briquette barbecues. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.
I got a call a few days ago from a Hornby Island Blues Society volunteer saying that they needed a replacement venue for a bass workshop. I asked if a truck bay would work and in less than ten minutes he dropped by to check it out for himself. I spent a couple of hours clearing the plan and was thrilled to call HIBS back to say it would work.
Ten students showed up this morning to learn bass guitar techniques from their instructor, Gary Kendall, one of the finest blues bassists in the country.
I’m exited to share our beautiful new firehall with them for the next couple of days and so pleased that HIFR is able to help out with this fantastic festival.