Dustin Curry, Fire Chief
Let me first start by thanking everyone for all the support shown in the last few weeks as I embark on this new chapter of my career, especially my family who has been more than patient throughout the whole process. I am very honoured to represent the District of Tumbler Ridge and the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department in such a capacity and look forward to providing my very best for our patrons. With that being said, let me take a crack at my first news article!
The Tumbler Ridge Fire Department responded to a total of ten calls for service during the month of October. These included three first responder calls, three reports of alarms ringing, two chimney fires, one Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector alarm, and finally one report of a gas smell. Training for the month included first responder training, embankment rescue techniques and public education during Fire Prevention Week. Congratulations to Deputy Fire Chief Vandale, Lt. Braam and Firefighters Thibodeau and Giles for achieving 100 percent attendance in the month.
October also marked two service anniversaries. Congratulations to Firefighter Perry Giles for two years of services as well as Fire Chief Dustin Curry with eleven years completed.
Members of the TRFD visited classes at Tumbler Ridge Elementary during Fire Prevention Week to discuss a variety of topics with students. These included smoke alarms, kitchen safety, and fire escape plans to name a few. Students were given blank fire escape plans to complete at home, and then give to their teachers in order to enter themselves into a draw. One entry was selected from each class as well as one overall school recipient. This year’s class recipients are Brayden Lindsay, Truxton Kallevik, Carter Bailey, Adalyn Anderson, Shea-lynn Bailey, Eldon Caillieou, Cayda Bertrand, and Ronan Deeley. The overall school recipient this year is Tyson Urness. Congratulations to everyone who entered. Remember to always have two ways out and practice those escape plans at least twice a year!
Also during the month, two members of the TRFD attended the BC and Yukon chapter of Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s annual conference in the lower mainland. During the course of the conference, our own Deputy Diana Vandale received top honors for Firefighter of the Year, as well as the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department itself was presented with an award for Fire Department of the Year. Countless hours have been put into this cause by our fire department personnel over the years, but we could not be as successful as we are without donations from you, the public. Thank you for all your continued support.
TRFD members were spotted out in the community several times during the month as well. Members attended such events as the Thanksgiving Food Drive, the Pumpkin Drop, and the Halloween Bonfire. Situations like these are always a great way to connect with everyone in the public and we love seeing so many people attend, keep it up!
As I said previously, we have already responded to two separate chimney fires in the last month, and with the colder months ahead, I’d like to advise those residences that do burn wood to make sure that you are inspecting and cleaning your chimneys on a regular basis. BC Fire Code section 22.214.171.124 states that chimneys must be inspected at least once per year and cleaned when soot or creosote build-up is more than 3mm thick. That’s just over the thickness of a loonie! It is much better to clean more frequently than to wait and potentially have an issue. If you have questions about wood burning practices, please visit https://www.epa.gov/burnwise or call the Fire hall 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, stay safe Tumbler Ridge!