Budget constraints have the Lake Cowichan Fire Department seeking donations from the public.
The two main things they’re seeking include vehicles and boats.
“We need vehicles for practice, to cut up,” Lake Cowichan Fire Department chief Doug Knott said. “Basically, practicing vehicle extractions.”
Using the jaws of life, Knott said that the ideal situation would be to have a vehicle extraction practice every month. The last time they were able to do so was in January.
“We’ve been doing it for years, but we just don’t have the vehicles,” he said.
“A guy used to find them for us, but he doesn’t any more.”
Cars, trucks, busses… it’s all good, Knott said, as they’re all potential real-life scenarios.
So, don’t just get your old written-off cars crushed, Knott encourages. Have the volunteer fire department members cut them up beforehand.
“We’re the in-between before the recycling,” Knott said.
The fire chief said that the fire department will not practice on residents’ properties. Instead, they’ll transport the vehicles to their own practice area.
The Lake Cowichan Fire Department is still looking for boats, so members are able to respond to calls on the Cowichan Lake and River.
“We’ve had to borrow boats before,” Knott said.
A quicker, and therefore safer solution, would result from the donation of boats.
Now, in advance of the tourist-filled summer, would be the best time for them to receive a boat.
Boat accidents, overturned aircraft, tubing accidents, boat fires; they’ve all happened in the Cowichan Lake area, Knott said.
“We can’t practice either,” Knott said, of their current situation, without a boat.
The fire department is looking for a 12-foot inflatable boat for the river, and an 18-foot aluminum boat for the lake.
Although these are the preferred boats, Knott said that other boats could be of use, as well.
The fire department can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 749-3522.