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!
As of Wed, October 16, residential backyard burning no longer requires a permit. However, please have mercy on your neighbours and burn only on a day with a good venting index. You can find a map showing the venting index on the right-hand side of this website.
Keep in mind that category 3 piles always require a permit. Category 3 piles are those that were built by a machine or those that contain stumps or large logs.
On Hornby Island, permits will be required prior to lighting your pile. Call the firehall at 250.335.2611 to request your free permit. We write them on Wednesdays and Saturdays and they are usually good for two weeks.
Burning can only take place on days with a good venting index. You can see the venting index on the link on the right-hand side of this page or click here and look for “CNTRL VAN ISLAND”.
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.
Last Thursday evening Hornby Island Fire Rescue had the pleasure of getting some training from a few members of Comox Fire Rescue. Fire Chief Gord Schreiner and three of his members came to provide us with knowledge and skills for use when dealing with a wildland-urban interface fire. Sixteen of our department members received training at a considerable savings to our training budget with the generous offer of Comox to come to us for an evening of sharing.
These skills, when combined with a FireSmart prepared property, give us a greater chance of saving infrastructure and properties on the island when a forest fire rolls through.
The FireSmart BC program is designed to help home owners prepare their home for a forest fire that impinges on their property. Visit the FireSmart BC website for a questionnaire and advice that will help you protect your home.
This program combined with working smoke detectors are your best chance for protecting your home and memories.
Our thanks go out to Comox Fire Rescue for sharing their knowledge and investing their time in our community.
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.
Many of our Islanders are aware that our members gather to practice on Thursday evenings. Sometimes we are around our fire hall and often we are out and around the island. Our practices range through a large number of skills; Superior Water Shuttle (the reason your fire insurance just dropped), Auto-Ex (car accidents), and Forestry drills, just to name a few.
Tonight (June 6th) we are practicing our shoreline Search And Rescue. We will be in the area of Whaling Station with our crews walking the beach searching for a perfectly healthyvolunteer patient. For those of you in the area, when you see all the trucks and the members walking up and down the shoreline, relax as we are just practicing. All is good.
Hornby Island Fire Rescue would like to extend our thanks and appreciation for all the members of the public who support our training. We can be loud, we can get in the way, and for those who don’t know, we can cause concern. Your patience and support help all islanders and visitors by allowing the department to be ready when we are needed.