Matt Treit, Fire Chief
The month of February came in like a lamb and went out like a lion with the TRFD responding to only three calls in the first half of the month, and then responding to eleven in the second half of the month.
In addition to nine First Responder calls, the fire department responded to two reports of ringing fire alarms, one report of a smell of gas, one report of an activated carbon monoxide detector, and one request from BC Ambulance to assist with decontaminating an individual who had come into contact with some corrosive chemicals.
Training in the month of February included auto-extrication, rope and pulley systems, confined space rescue, and the firefighters also wrote an exam through the Justice Institute of BC. Congratulations to Deputy Vandale, Firefighters Thibodeau, Hall, Giles, and Probationary Firefighter Laboucan who all achieved 100% attendance at training this past month.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Larry Laboucan as the newest member of the TRFD and we wish him all the best with our organization.
As we are nearing the end of the wood burning season and a time where the weather is starting to warm up during the daylight hours, it seems a good time to remind those of you with wood burning appliances about the importance of proper burning. It seems to be a common practice at this time of year to start a fire in the morning and then let it smoulder throughout the day so as not to overheat the house during the warmer late morning and afternoon hours.
A smouldering fire is not a good idea for a number of reasons. First of all, smoke coming from the chimney indicates fuel that is being wasted rather than being burned. Smoke is mostly carbon which is the fuel for the fire, and if it is escaping from the stove, it is not producing heat. Secondly, the smoke results in an increase in air pollution, which will negatively affect the air quality for both you and those living around you. And finally, smouldering fires result in an increase of creosote accumulating in your chimney, which will increase the chances of you having a chimney fire.
In order to avoid these problems, it is best to burn small, hot fires, instead of big cooler ones. If you use smaller pieces of wood, you can keep a hot, bright fire burning in the early part of the day and then let it go out during the warmer hours later in the day. When evening rolls around, you can reignite the fire if you would like to warm up the house for the evening. This is obviously a little more work than just letting a few big logs smoulder in the fire box, but the advantages of burning this way, far outweigh the one disadvantage.
The TRFD is continuing to look for new members. I know that for many people in town, this is a time of uncertainty and it is difficult to make commitments, but if there are individuals out there with a positive attitude and who are able to make an on-going commitment to a great organization which provides service to our community, we would like to hear from you. Stop by the fire hall for an application, or call 242-3939 if you would like more information.