Matt Treit, Fire Chief
The Tumbler Ridge Fire Department was called upon eighteen times during the month of October which makes it the busiest month so far in 2015. The TRFD responded to one ATV accident, one motor vehicle accident, one report of smoke, one request from STARS to secure a landing zone, five reports of ringing fire alarms, and nine First Responder calls.
Training in the month of October included initial attack on structure fires, auto-extrication, fire cause investigation, as well as conducting station tours for some visitors from the Children’s Centre. Congratulations to Deputy Diana Vandale, Firefighter Perry Giles, and Probationary Firefighter Kevin Pittman who all achieved 100% attendance at training sessions this past month.
Some notable milestones this past month included Perry Giles completing one year with the TRFD, and Dustin Curry completing his tenth year with the fire department. Congratulations to both of you on these accomplishments. We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome our newest member, Derek Blackwell, to our organization.
Other activities in the month of October included firefighters helping with the Pumpkin Drop at the annual Pumpkin Patch event, as well as lighting and supervising the bonfires on Halloween night. The TRFD also conducted fire drills at both schools, as well as spending time at TRE with fire and ATV safety messages during Fire Prevention Week.
As is often the case, the first snowfall of the year has kicked off the annual wood burning season. I would like to remind everyone to make sure that they keep their chimneys clean in order to ensure safe operation of their fire places and woodstoves.
In addition to cleaning the chimneys with a brush, burning hot fires with dry wood (less than 20% moisture content) is an excellent way to ensure a clean chimney. Do not rely on products which you burn in your woodstove or fireplace to clean your chimney. While these may make it easier to remove soot and creosote, they do not replace the need to physically clean and inspect a chimney.
I am often asked how often a chimney should be cleaned. This is a difficult question to answer as each home has different burning habits. The BC Fire Code states that chimneys should be cleaned when there is a build-up of soot or creosote which exceeds three millimeters in thickness. If you have any questions regarding the installation or operation of your wood burning appliance, please contact the fire hall during regular business hours.
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.