Exams Happening at a Feverish Rate

Our new training officer, Sasha LeBaron has been cracking the whip to get our members to advance their training. Last Thursday saw a flurry of exams.

  • Ian Emberton continued his in-house firefighter exam. All that remains is his written exam and he can remove the rookie designation from his helmet.
  • Doug Chinnery wrote and passed his module 6 written exam dealing with salvage and overhaul operations on the fire scene.
  • Patrick Lui completed his module 2 practical exam where he demonstrated textbook fire extinguisher technique and masterful donning on turnout gear and breathing apparatus.
  • Dave Hanna wrote his module 7 exam, the topic being sprinkler systems, public education, and fire prevention.
  • David Cloud wrote both module 6 and his hazmat awareness exam.

Each of last few months has seen several people advancing their training by writing exams and completing practical evaluations. This is good news for the individual, for the department, and for the community at large. Thanks to Sasha for driving this process, Duncan and Giff for administering the exams, and for all the firefighters who are spending even more of their spare time to better themselves and the department.

Galleon Tank in Service

The tank at the bottom of Sollans had its plumbing completed last week and the Chief was able to fill it by pumping it full of groundwater. That leaves only the tank at the top of Euston Road to be completed before all of our new tanks are in service.

For a list of all of our tanks have a look at the water supply page.

Dryer Vent Safety Alert from Safety Authority

“A dryer and the attached vent system requires regular cleaning and maintenance, just like your furnace or other fuel burning equipment. Lack of regular cleaning and maintenance of dryers and their attached venting systems, has been identified as causing fires.”

The BC Safety Authority has issued a safety alert about maintaining your dryer vent. The upshot is that when lint collects in the vent, the dryer has to work harder to push the air out. This will heat up the dryer even more, creating a feedback loop and possibly a fire hazard.  Read the whole alert here.

Periwinkle Tank Now in Service

Jed has finished with the plumbing on another water supply tank, we have pumped it full of water, and it’s now ready to be used. Sure, the landscaping leaves a bit to be desired, but that will get fixed up when the ground dries out a bit. We’ve been really lucky that there has been enough groundwater near the new tanks that we have been able to pump directly into the tanks instead of shuttling 15 loads per tank from the fire hall.

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The next tank to come on line will be at the corner of Sollans and Brigantine. The ground is pretty wet there right now, so we’re hoping that we can fill it with the portable pump as well. Stay tuned.

No Changes at AGM

We held the 2011 Annual General Meeting last night where we elect members to the positions of Fire Chief, Deputy Chief, and Treasurer.  There was no change to these positions for the upcoming year. The management team remains:

  • Fire Chief: Giff LaRose
  • Deputy Chief: Doug Chinnery
  • Treasurer: Len Olsen
  • Captain: Al Cannon
  • Captain: Rob Zielinski
  • Training Officer: Sasha Lebaron

Thanks to everyone that came to the meeting and provided feedback to the management team. We’re all looking forward to the upcoming year.

Chimney Fire Season

We’ve now been to 2 chimney fires in under a month. Fortunately no one was hurt and no property was damaged. There was a common theme to both of our calls that is worth mentioning. That theme is a wood stove connected to a chimney with a horizontal pipe.

This is the type of chimney with horizontal component that we've talking about

Any horizontal surface will collect stuff, whether it’s knick-knacks on a kitchen shelf or creosote in a chimney. It seems that in both cases the fire started near to the joint where the horizontal component of the stovepipe connected to the main chimney. The good news is that usually this stovepipe is relatively easy to clean. The bad news is that it is often forgotten when the rest of the chimney is cleaned.

If you have one of these setups, make sure that the elbows out of the wood stove get taken apart and thoroughly cleaned as part of your regular cleaning schedule. Also, if you have this type of setup, you will want to clean out the stove pipe more often than those with a strictly vertical chimney system.

If you should discover a chimney fire, throw 1 cup of water into the firebox, close the door and the damper on the stove. Then call 911, and leave the house. One cup of water will expand to 1500 cups of steam which can go a long way to cooling the fire without damaging the flue.