Our training tells us that fire ground is a dynamic place. Conditions change so we adjust our tactics to suit. Road conditions on Thurday night’s practice enforced that by having us scrambling to adjust our plans.
Initially we were to do a structural fire scenario at the recycling depot. At the time of practice the road to the depot still hadn’t been plowed. Although we could have safely gotten the trucks up the hill, we were concerned about getting them back down. In the event of an actual fire we would have gone, but it seemed unwise to risk close to a million dollars worth of equipment for the sake of a practice.
The firehall benefited from this change as we put the firefighters to work taking care of the chores that had been stacking up lately. We were able to make it an early night and will return to tackle the depot scenario another day.
At 1PM on Christmas Eve we got a Duty Officer call reporting trees down across the power lines to the Recycling Depot. The Deputy and the Chief arrived on scene to find 2 trees had blown over, taken out the hydro lines and were blocking the road. Sixteen cars and their passengers were trapped at the Depot unable to escape.
After determining that the power lines were dead, we limbed and cut the trees to create a slot large enough for a car to drive through. Stani, the Depot manager, used the back hoe to move the cut logs and all of the trapped people were able to leave. Christmas was saved!
From all of us at Hornby Island Fire Rescue, have a great Christmas, and we hope you all have a prosperous and fulfilling New Year. Be safe and drive carefully.
While some of us were practicing with the basket stretcher, and filling the Sandpiper water tank other HIFR elves were decorating the hall. It only took a few hours for a group of them to turn the fire hall into a Christmas postcard.
From everyone at HIFR to everyone on Hornby Island and anywhere else, “Happy Holidays!”. Have a safe and fire free season.