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!

Our Firefit Stars

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.

Backyard burning now allowed with permit

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.

Updated Fire Ratings

With the arrival of the fall rain, we can breathe a collective sigh of relief as the forest fire danger has eased considerably.

Safe campfires, the use of wood stoves for heating, and chainsaw and lawn mowing are now allowed again.

Burn piles are still prohibited and permits will not be issued until we get the required update from the province. We will update the website on an ongoing basis so be sure to check back regularly.

Contributions in Memory of Vickie MacDonald

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.

HIFR Volunteer Fund 

Learn before you burn!

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.


Community CPR Training

Free CPR classes

Never learned CPR, or learned it last century? Here’s your chance to get up to date. HIFR is offering free classes that will show you how to do the current simplified CPR technique, and how to use the automatic defibrillators that are stationed around Hornby–all in about an hour. You won’t get a certificate, but you will learn how to save lives.

Contact John Heinegg, 250-335-0470, to sign up for a class.