Dustin Curry, Fire Chief
Tis the season! The season for friends, family, and also for many preventable incidents which occur every year our homes, and no I’m not referring to that time your brought up politics in front of Uncle Lou.
I’m talking about simple things that are often overlooked such as forgetting to water that real Christmas tree daily or unsafe practices in the kitchen or carelessly burning candles in the home as well a host of others.
I know this time of the year can be crazy, at least I know it is for me and my family, but please take time to stand back and take a look at the bigger picture, the safety of you and those around you.
A great source of information on a variety of holiday safety topics can be found on our Facebook page or call the Fire Hall for more information.
During the month of November, the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department responded to a total of 12 calls for service. There were eight first responder calls, one report of a gas smell, one report of smoke, one hazardous materials call, and one rescue call.
Training topics for the month included rope rescue systems, and the completion of the Red Cross First Responder program. I’d like to thank all of our members for putting in an extra effort to get this program completed as quickly as possible, especially our instructor, Deputy Chief Vandale.
Congratulations to Deputy Chief Vandale, Lieutenant Braam, Firefighter Giles, and Probationary Firefighter Naylor for achieving 100 percent attendance during the month of November as well as a special recognition to Firefighter Mike Thibodeau who completed 12 years of service on November 17, and Deputy Chief Diana Vandale who completed an astonishing 22 years of service on November 9.
I’d like to take this time to address the elephant in the room for many people. As I stated in our call report above, the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department responded to a Hazardous Material call during the month.
This was to provide assistance to the RCMP during their investigation into a suspected drug lab. This of course was confirmed as a Fentanyl lab.
The misuse of Fentanyl in the Province of BC is no longer a crisis: it has become an epidemic.
Many people are still unaware that the province declared a public health emergency back in April of 2016 due to a significant increase in drug-related overdoses and deaths. I strongly urge people, especially parents, to get educated about the risks and effects of illicit Fentanyl as well as the signs and symptoms of an overdose. I also want to make it clear to the public that as First Responders, it is not our place to judge. Our place is to help you. Please call 911 if you suspect someone is having a drug overdose. You could save a life. We have information on our Facebook page or visit www.Fentanylsafety.com for more information.
The Tumbler Ridge Fire Department is continuing to look for new members, so if you have a positive attitude and are willing to commit to training, we would like to hear from you. Stop by the fire hall during regular business hours for an application or to have any questions answered. Our Facebook page is also a great way to ask questions too!
Until next month, have safe and happy holidays Tumbler Ridge!