Matt Treit, Fire Chief
The month of March was quite an uneventful one for the TRFD as it responded to only six calls during that time.
Those six emergencies included three First Responder calls, one report of ringing fire alarms, one motor vehicle incident, and one report of smoke.
Ironically, March of 2014 was the busiest month of that year for the TRFD which responded to eighteen calls for assistance during that time, while March of 2013 was the slowest month of the year, with only five emergencies. This goes to show how unpredictable emergency services can be.
Training in the month of March included the topics of ground ladders, auto-extrication, fire ground strategies and tactics, as well as safety and orientation. Congratulations to Deputy Vandale, Firefighters Beale, Thibodeau, Ross, Hall, Giles, and Probationary Firefighter Laboucan who all achieved 100% attendance at training this month. A further congratulations also goes out to Firefighters Dell, Hall, Dokkie, and Giles who all passed their recent training module exam through the Justice Institute of British Columbia with an average mark of 87 percent. Well done!
Other notable events this past month included Christopher Dokkie completing his first year of service with the TRFD, and Don Ross completing his sixth year with our organization. Congratulations to both of you for your dedication, and we hope to see you around for many years to come. We would also like to welcome aboard our newest recruit, Kevin Pittman, and wish him many years of success with our organization.
A special thanks goes out to Shop Easy for allowing the firefighters to sell shamrocks there as part of the Buck for Luck fundraising campaign. The TRFD raised over $375 with all proceeds going to Muscular Dystrophy. Thanks also to all of you who purchased a shamrock for this worthwhile cause.
I would like to remind the residents of Tumbler Ridge about pulling over when one of our fire trucks (or any emergency vehicle) is responding to an emergency. When drivers do not pull over, it makes a stressful situation even more stressful for the operators of our apparatus. In addition, section 177 of the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act states: “On the immediate approach of an emergency vehicle giving an audible signal by bell, siren or exhaust whistle, and showing a visible flashing red light, except when otherwise directed by a peace officer, a driver must yield the right of way, and immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the nearest edge or curb of the roadway, clear of an intersection, and stop and remain in that position until the emergency vehicle has passed.” This includes when the emergency vehicle is approaching you from the opposite direction, overtaking you from behind, or approaching from a perpendicular direction at an intersection. In addition to this legal requirement, when drivers do pull over, it allows us to respond to the emergency in a more timely manner, and thus more quickly render aid to the person or persons in need of that aid. And for all of you who do pull over, thank-you very much, as it makes the jobs of the First Responders both more efficient and much safer.
The Tumbler Ridge Fire Department is continuing to look for new recruits for the fire department. If you are interested in serving your community in this way, or finding out more about what is involved with being a volunteer firefighter in Tumbler Ridge, feel free to stop by the fire hall and ask any questions that you may have.