On Saturday, February 4th, approximately 50 people attended the District of Tumbler Ridge AGM. RCMP were dressed in red serge and firefighters wore their uniforms for the event. Mayor Caisley, Sharon Caisley, Lonnie Miller, Sandy Miller attended as guests. Gordon ?Shorty? Smith, the previous Fire Chief also attended. The evening started with a prayer by Deputy Fire Chief Matt Treit followed by dinner.
After dinner, Mayor Caisley congratulated the firefighters on a job well done. Fire Chief Dan Golob made a power point presentation of the 2006 statistics. There were 91 fire calls with June being the highest with 15 calls for service. The majority of the calls were made on Saturdays between the hours of eight and ten o?clock in the evening. The department average for duty calls was 61%. There was one fatality in a structure fire.
Firefighter Doug Beale?s duty attendance was 94%. Fire Chief Dan Golob, Deputy Fire Chief Matt Treit, and Firefighters Doug Beale, and Randy Baxter had a 100 percent training attendance. The total department training hours for 2006 was 2681.5. There were 50 Wednesday practices. The average response time for a fire call was 6.1 minutes. The in-town response time was 3.7 minutes. Golob commented that the in-town response is fantastic timing.
The winner of the Fire Chief for a Day contest was Grade three student Nicholas Jenkins.
Golob also congratulated the firefighters on a job well done with the wild fire evacuation of the town last July when 90 % of the town was evacuated to outlying communities.
Pictures were shown of the damage sustained before and after the forest fires. There were approximately 9200 hectares of land destroyed in the Hourglass fire. During the fires, British Columbia Forestry Services had over 300 personnel and 24 helicopters working the fires. There were two provincial fire camps and the industries around Tumbler Ridge were contracted for their heavy equipment.
Golob presented a series of slides demonstrating live fire training in Ft. St. James in August.
The fire department attended an in-house hose lay in May and hosted the annual golf tournament in September.
The firefighters held their annual pool and dart tournament in November. The community Christmas party was held in December and the Children?s Christmas party was also held at that month at the firehall.
The year wrapped up with an amazing fireworks display on December 31st at the Tumbler Ridge Secondary High School.
Awards were given to Deputy Fire Chief Matt Treit who has completed 13 years of service. Captain Diane Vandale completed 12 years. Firefighter Doug Beale is at 7 years. Firefighters Mike Hanna, Ian Leach and Scott Beatty have all completed 5 years of service. Firefighter June Savard has completed 3 years. Firefighters David Ruel, Mike Thibodeau, and Randall Baxter have all completed 2 years. Finally, Firefighters Mike Ludwar, Dustin Curry and Crystal Bertrand have completed their first year of service.
This year?s Firefighter of the Year award was given to Mike Thibodeau. Since joining the firehall in November of 2004 Thibodeau has had an exemplary attendance and performance record.