Matt Treit, Fire Chief
During the first month of 2016 the TRFD responded to 12 emergencies. Five of these calls for assistance were for medical emergencies, three were for ringing fire alarms, two were for a smell of gas, and the two were for chimney fires. It is important to keep your chimney clean and to burn dry wood in hot fires in order to avoid the buildup of creosote that can lead to these fires. This is especially important to remember when there is unseasonably warm weather and there is more of a temptation to burn a smoldering fire.
Training in the month of January included the topics of Strategies and Tactics for structure fires, auto-extrication, and First Responders. Congratulations to Deputy Vandale, and Firefighters Dell, Giles, Pittman and Thebeau who all achieved 100% attendance at fire practices in the month of January. A further congratulations goes out to Scott Beattie who has now completed fourteen years of service with the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department. Thank-you Scott for your ongoing service to the TRFD and people of Tumbler Ridge.
As this is the time when people may be planning a winter getaway or just find themselves travelling out of town for hockey tournaments or other sporting events, it is important to keep fire safety in mind when you are away staying at hotels or motels. You should always take note of where the exits are (never use the elevator in a fire) and in fact the exit routes should be clearly indicated on the escape plan posted in your room. There should always be two exits available. If a fire alarm is activated, take your key and evacuate your room and ensure the door is closed behind you. Do not assume that it is just a false alarm. It is important to take your key with you in case the exits are blocked and you have to return to your room. If you ever are faced with this situation, shut off the fans/air conditioners in your room and stuff wet towels in the cracks around the door and vents to prevent smoke from entering. Call the fire department to let them which room you are in. While fires in hotels are quite rare, particularly in newer buildings with sprinklers, they are still possible and following these few safety precautions could save your life.
The Tumbler Ridge Fire Department is continuing to look for new members. If you have a positive attitude and are willing to commit to weekly training, the TRFD would like to hear from you. You can stop by the fire hall during regular business hours for more information.