There are few things I like more than giving out helmet stickers, P.A.S.S. tags, and collar dogs. The latest two promotions were to Jasper Savoie and Rob Lewis.

Jasper’s first exposure to HIFR was when he was 13 and attended one of our early cadet camps. He joined us as a member a few years later. He’s been off-island for months at a time for trades training, but always comes back and works extremely hard to catch up. I am so pleased to announce his promotion from rookie to firefighter.

Rob Lewis joined us three years ago and immediately went on a tear learning as much as he could and taking on whatever jobs were on offer. He is our volunteer fund treasurer and training officer and I’m thrilled to be able to promote him to the rank of Lieutenant.

Congratulations to both of them. They’ve worked really hard to achieve these milestones.

2019 Incident Breakdown

In 2019 HIFR attended 193 incidents making it was the busiest year in our history. The bar graph that follows seems to indicate a trend toward increased call volume.

Here is a breakdown of the type of calls that kept us busy last year.

FR (medical)126
Duty Officer18
False Alarm9
Public Service8
Beach Fire7
Chimney Fire5
Motor Vehicle Incident MVI 4
Hydro Lines3
Brush Fire2
Ground Search2
Structural Fire2
Investigation (no fire)1
Fire Unclassified1
Burn Pile1
Walk-in First Aid1
RCMP Assist1
Telephone Wires1
CO Alarm1

We love the Co-op!!

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.

Polar Bear Swim

The weather is forecasted to be cloudy and warm with a chance of showers for the 2020 edition of the Hornby Island Polar Bear Swim. HIFR will be at Grassy Point beach with trucks, hot dogs, chai and a big bonfire in anticipation of the multitude of swimmers hitting the water at noon sharp.

This is a great family event with everyone from 6 years old to those in their 80s swimming or just watching the spectacle.

Pro tips:
1) Bring a mug for the hot chai to avoid a single use cup.
2) Wear water shoes because the pebbles can be hard on your feet.

Don’t let the shocked looks scare you. The water is usually very warm.

Santa says

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!

Two New Promotions

I am thrilled to announce the promotion of Jac Graham and Ben Peterson from the rank of rookie to that of firefighter. Jac and Ben both successfully challenged and intense HIFR in-house written test and a practical exam that takes two evenings to complete.

Sure, they get shiny new stickers for their helmets, a gold nameplate, and yellow id-tags. What they really get, however, is the acknowledgment of their peers that they are a competent firefighter that can be trusted to carry out important tasks on a fireground without supervision.

Aside from skills and enthusiasm, they both have a great sense of humour and bring smiles and good cheer into the firehall. Hornby Island is lucky to have them. Congratulations to Jac and Ben!

Shiny new helmet decals await those who can successfully challenge the in-house exam.

Disposing of Rescue Truck

HIFR and the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is disposing of a 1982 International rescue truck (VIN 1HTAA18B2BHB30370). The vehicle starts reliably, runs nicely, and is roadworthy. It has been meticulously maintained. It has a gasoline-powered engine and is not equipped with air brakes. This truck is located at 3715 Central Road and is offered “as is, where is”. 

Offers clearly marked “Disposition Hornby Island Rescue Truck”, may be submitted by email to or in-person to 600 Comox Road, Courtenay, BC, V9N 3P6, until 2:00pm on Wednesday December 18, 2019. 

In order to be considered, interested parties should ensure the offer is received by the CVRD before the submission deadline. 

Queries regarding the vehicle should be directed to Doug Chinnery Fire Chief, by email at or by calling 250.335.2611. Queries regarding the process should be directed to Scott Hainsworth by email at or 250.334.6000.

Proud Firefighters

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!