Fire Department Beginnings

When you dig deep enough, you find out very interesting history. While our town of only 25 years is relatively young compared to other towns and cities, it is steeped with rich times past.

The Tumbler Ridge Fire Department was solidly in place before the town was fully constructed. While buildings went up wall-by-wall and roof-by-roof, the commander in those days was Fire Chief John Wyatt.

The next time you drive past the ball diamonds, on the way into town, imagine that being the location of the first fire hall. Fire Chief Wyatt was the only paid member of the department with 20 some volunteer firefighters, the same structure as today.

With the current surge of our locals working for the mine, the recruitment necessity for the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department is more important than ever. It is a fulfilling thing to be a firefighter, in ways one can only imagine. The best part of being a firefighter says Dan Golob, our fourth and current Fire Chief, is ?The opportunity to help their neighbours and their community in times of need. It is a special lifestyle being a firefighter, the feeling that you get when you can help someone that is having a bad day is very rewarding,?

At present there are 20 firefighters but Fire Chief Golob would like to see more. His desire would be to see a minimum of 25-26 members. When asked what the benefit of becoming a firefighter is, he says, ?Training is the biggest perk to being a firefighter. We train every Wednesday (evening) learning about fire suppression, rope rescue, auto extrication, first responder medical response and much more. We train all firefighters through the JIBC to an NFPA 1001 standard, which ensure that our firefighters receive the best training possible.?

In days gone by, the volunteers were from all walks of life. Recalls George Hartford, ?Our first (school) principal, Bob Wilson and our bus driver, Marcel Simard, were both members.? The will of Tumbler Ridge proved that your day job was how you paid the bills, but your heart and community spirit lay within your volunteer efforts as well. Please consider joining this worthwhile organization for the safety and well-being of Tumbler Ridge

For information on joining the fire department, please contact Fire Chief Dan Golob at 250-242-3939 or come by the Fire Hall during business hours. Applicants must be over 20 and in good health.