After skipping the last two years, we are proud to be able to host the Hornby Island Blues Camp bass workshops in our apparatus bay. Anytime we can find an alternative use for our community fire hall it’s high fives all around.
This morning a concrete mixer ended up on its side on Central Road. The incident happened when the driver moved the truck to the right of the road, concerned about oncoming traffic. The very soft shoulder grabbed his tire, sloughed away and put him into a deep ditch. No injuries were reported.
Two minor oil leaks into the ditch were mitigated by fire crews and no environmental damage occurred. Company representatives were on scene within an hour to organize a vehicle extraction operation, including an environmental hazard response team on scene. Our appreciation goes out to the ready-mix company for their incredibly quick, environmentally responsible, and compassionate response.
To anyone held up by the road closure, thanks for your patience.
One of my favourite parts of this job is advancing rookies up to the rank of firefighter. That event usually follows two years of training, six hours of practical exams, and a two-hour written test. The practical exam covers portable pump operations and troubleshooting, deploying attack lines, putting equipment back in service, ropes, knots, hoisting, ladders, and many other skills.
I’m pleased to announce that Innes Hood, Alex Ortwein, and Ian Graboski have been promoted to “firefighter”. Their commitment to our team and our island community is inspiring.
We were fortunate to be approved to receive a $12,000 grant from the Red Cross for community resilience. We took advantage of that grant by purchasing a new cargo trailer to store and transport our structure protection equipment.
We can use this equipment to protect houses in the path of an oncoming wildfire and includes things like sprinklers, hoses, pumps, fittings, and portable ponds. The trailer can be taken to a neighbourhood, and the equipment deployed to prevent structures from being set on fire by sparks and firebrands.
There will be a bunch of work to build shelving and custom storage racks, but we hope to have it fully in service by the summer fire season. It will spend its time here on Hornby but could be deployed for short periods to help out our neighbours on Denman, or in extreme cases, on Vancouver Island.
Big thanks to the Red Cross, the Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC, and the CVRD staff for helping with the application and licensing process.
We were able to secure funds to do another round of the chipper program that we trialled last year. This year it will be the week following Thanksgiving.
We are often asked how to dispose of expired or damaged flares. Ideally, they would be taken back to the point of purchase, but that is sometimes impossible when shops move or go out of business, or when the owner forgets where they bought the flares.
Here is a great opportunity to safely dispose of any old flares.
Congratulations to Rob Lewis who over the last few months did a huge amount of studying to get two significant certifications. He is our third NFPA 1001 firefighter level II, and our second recipient of the Fire Officer II certifications. His dedication to continued training sets a fantastic example.
Ben Marsh is the first of our members to help out on the fire fighting front in the interior this year. On Sunday morning he travels to Vernon with a team from Oyster River Fire Rescue. They’ll be working on an engine crew that is dispatched to extinguish spot fires on properties at risk. Stay safe, Ben.
We have just moved the fire danger hazard to “extreme”. With three days of extreme fire hazard conditions comes the restrictions on high-risk activities. We are anticipating that at noon on Tues, July 13 the following activities will be restricted or banned.
- mechanical brushing;
- disk trenching;
- preparation or use of explosives;
- using fire- or spark-producing tools, including cutting tools;
- using or preparing fireworks or pyrotechnics;
- grinding, including rail grinding;
- mechanical land clearing;
- clearing and maintaining rights of way, including grass mowing;
- any of the following activities carried out in a cutblock excluding a road, landing, roadside work area or log sort area in the cutblock:
- operating a power saw;
- mechanical tree felling, woody debris piling or tree processing, including de-limbing;
- portable wood chipping, milling, processing or manufacturing;
- skidding logs or log forwarding unless it is improbable that the skidding or forwarding will result in the equipment contacting rock;
- yarding logs using cable systems;
Between now and July 13 when the ban comes into effect, a person must cease the activity between 1PM and sunset each day and maintain a fire watcher after work for a minimum of 2 hours.