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 able to secure funds to do another round of the chipper program that we trialled last year. This year it will be the week following Thanksgiving.
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.
Congratulations to Rob Lewis who over the last few months did a huge amount of studying to get two significant certifications. He is our third NFPA 1001 firefighter level II, and our second recipient of the Fire Officer II certifications. His dedication to continued training sets a fantastic example.
Ben Marsh is the first of our members to help out on the fire fighting front in the interior this year. On Sunday morning he travels to Vernon with a team from Oyster River Fire Rescue. They’ll be working on an engine crew that is dispatched to extinguish spot fires on properties at risk. Stay safe, Ben.
I was thrilled to find Al’s Fire Officer 1 certificate in the mail this morning. Al is our most accomplished member and his commitment to training and continued learning is inspiring.
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.
Rest in Peace, Chief. We’ll take it from here.