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.
Goodbye, friend. Long live the new 64.
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.
Staff at the CVRD set up a web page that explains these guidelines and activities.
To be clear, at this time there is no ban on high risk activities. We will provide notice when or if that time comes.
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.
This year’s Cadet Camp is completely full. Thank you for everyone who has registered. We are so sorry for anyone who tried to register but ended up on the waiting list.
For more information about the camp, you can go to the Cadet Camp page.
HIFR is proud to be able to send two of our senior firefighters to help with structure protection in the wildfire events in the BC interior. Quana Parker and Sasha LeBaron will be serving as part of a structure protection unit staffed by our friends at Oyster River Fire Rescue and commanded by Chief Bruce Green. They will be leaving on Tuesday and will be staged out of 150 Mile House for their seven-day tour.
This is an exciting opportunity for our two fire fighters to gain valuable wild land fire management experience in a live incident environment. We are looking forward to the stories, skills, and knowledge that they will bring back and share with the rest of the department. With no respite in the weather forecast there is a good chance that two more Hornby firefighters may get the nod for a future tour to the interior.
Join us in wishing Sasha and Quana the best of luck in their deployment. Thank you for answering the call. You are making us proud.