Matt Treit, Fire Chief
June of 2014 saw the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department respond to a total of sixteen calls. As usual, the vast majority (fourteen) of the calls were First Responder calls. The month was rounded out with one report of ringing alarms and one grass fire. Training in the month of June included the completion of First Responder training, a live fire exercise with an acquired structure, the annual fitness test, as well as auto-extrication training.
The firefighters also presented the annual fireworks display on June 30 to kick off the Canada Day celebrations. Congratulations to Deputy Vandale, Lieutenant Braam, and Firefighters Thibodeau and Fry for achieving 100% attendance at training in the month of June. A further congratulations also goes out to Firefighter Fry for having now completed five years with the TRFD.
With the increased travel that accompanies the nicer weather and summer holidays, I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of wearing seatbelts. Even though one might think that this should be more of a winter message, the fact is that the majority of serious motor vehicle accidents that I have attended have been in the summer months.
I believe that this is a result of overconfidence when the weather is better; once the winter snow is gone, drivers seem more likely to increase their speed and decrease their awareness. While avoiding an accident is always the best option, in the event that you are in an accident, wearing a seatbelt is one of the best methods of preventing injuries.
Over 40 percent of those killed in car accidents are not wearing seatbelts, and with regards to the accidents that I have personally attended, those not wearing seatbelts have fared much worse than those who were wearing seatbelts.
Some people argue that in the event of a fire or submersion in water that it is easier to survive when not wearing a seatbelt. The fact is that those incidents constitute less than one percent of all accidents, and, in addition, the chances of becoming incapacitated from the impact of the accident are much higher when not wearing a seatbelt and thus the chances of self-rescue are greatly diminished. So remember, always wear your seatbelt.
The Tumbler Ridge Fire Department is currently looking for new members. If you are of good character, work well as part of a team, and are willing to commit time to train, we would like to hear from you. Feel free to stop by the fire hall during regular business hours for an application or you can call 250-242-3939 if you have any questions or require further information.