The Youbou Volunteer Fire Department

The Youbou Volunteer Fire Department

Local fire departments holding volunteer drive amidst shortage

Mesachie Lake fire chief Gary Eve explains the benefits of volunteering.

While public discourse has been ablaze lately with talks of wildfires raging across British Columbia and western Canada, local volunteer fire departments continue to face a shortage in volunteers. Six local fire departments are banding together to hold a volunteer drive in September, in hopes that the push will encourage more residents to lend their help to the important service, which is as crucial now as ever.

The volunteer drive is being run by all six CVRD departments, which includes the Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, Mesachie Lake, Sahtlam, North Oyster and Malahat volunteer fire departments, some of which have been facing problems in the last few years due to a smaller number of people coming forth to volunteer.

“It’s been a lot tougher to get people lately, which some departments have noticed more than others,” Fire Chief Gary Eve of the Mesachie Lake Volunteer Fire Department said. “Numbers have gone down over the years. Its tougher nowadays for people to volunteer when they’re being pulled in so many directions. It’s not always easy for modern families to make the time commitment.”

Eve noted that there are many benefits and “resume fillers” involved with volunteering with a local fire department as well, including help with receiving air brake tickets, leadership training and first aid tickets, which can be helpful knowledge in both the workplace and elsewhere.

“For me it’s a way to give back to the community,” Eve said. “I love being able to get out and help.”

Eve said that the recent lack of volunteers may be partly due to the regular demographic becoming older, but that “people with that kind of life experience are actually very helpful for fire departments.”

Volunteering with a local fire department is open to those as young as 17, through the Junior Firefighter Program, and anyone who is at least moderately fit, granted that they do not have any respiratory issues that would affect their abilities. Eve noted that the Mesachie Lake Volunteer Fire Department has also had female firefighters since as early as the 1940s.

Aside from firefighters, there is also room for volunteers to serve in medical roles or help with vehicle extraction, as many of the calls these departments receive are vehicle-related.

Eve said that despite the recent heat wave, the Mesachie Volunteer Fire Department has so far been receiving the average amount of fire-related calls this summer, though the total number of calls have been slightly higher.

The volunteer drive will also include an open house at the Malahat Fire Hall, similar to the open house at the Honeymoon Bay Fire Hall last year, which Eve said was successful in recruiting a volunteer.

Eve said that he is also hoping on hosting a CPR class, which will be open to the public, later this year, time permitting.

For more information, call your local volunteer fire department at 250-749-6355 (Honeymoon Bay), 250-749-6277 (Mesachie Lake), 250-745-3414 (Youbou) or the CVRD at 250-746-2561.

 

Just Posted

Old-growth logging protesters block a road on Monday, June 14. This is not the blockade at Honeymoon Bay referred to in the story. (Facebook photo)
Old-growth logging protesters block RCMP access on road near Honeymoon Bay

Police were on their way to enforcement in Fairy Creek area when they were stopped

DAVID VAN DEVENTER
Cowichan Citizen and Lake Cowichan Gazette announce new publisher

David van Deventer has been with Black Press Media since 2014

Island Health is bringing a vaccination clinic to Lake Cowichan starting June 23. (Submitted)
COVID vaccine clinic coming to Lake Cowichan as area numbers lag

Clinic will operate at arena starting June 23

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New Indigenous treatment centre to be built near Duncan

Centre will help survivors of residential schools

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Most Read