This is what Carol Hemrich wrote after Sunday’s meeting. With Carol’s permission, we are pleased to share her article with you.
Albert Reed served for many years as a trustee for the Gabriola Fire Protection District. His contributions to the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department have been extraordinary, and we miss him very much. We asked Albert’s family to allow us to print his obituary. This is what they submitted.
Gabriola Fire Protection District
Annual General Meeting
April 22, 2015
The Annual General Meeting of the Gabriola Fire Protection District was held on April 22, 2015 at the No. 1 Fire Hall with six Trustees, absent was Albert Reed. The Fire Chief, Corporate Officer, and Auditor were also present along with 16 members of the public. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman, Mark Noyon.
Minutes of the April 16, 2014, AGM were presented. The Chair asked for any errors or omissions, Moved by Paul Champion that the minutes be accepted as presented, seconded by Oscar Reeves, carried.
The Financial Statement was presented by Doug Parkhurst from KMA Chartered Accountants Ltd, who explained the report was different this year as the GFPID had made the transition to the Public Sector Accounting Practice Standard. He gave a brief explanation as to why the transition and what these changes were.
Doug Parkhurst gave a page to page description of the differences from last year’s Financial Statement, then asked for questions.
Herb Rudischer moved that the Financial Statement be accepted as presented, seconded by Kyle Clifford, carried.
Fire Chief’s report
(As per written report)
Training Officer’s Report
(As per written report)
Captain Jethro Baker and Captain Will Sprogis presented the Training Officer’s report.
Captain’s Report – Number 1 Hall
(Presented by Jethro Baker)
Captain Baker gave an explanation of training practices, scheduling, and record keeping. He noted that the No. 1 Hall had 18 active members with 3 probationary firefighters, and that everyone was doing very well.
Captain’s Report – Number 2 Hall
(Presented by Captain Dimitri Tzotzos)
Captain Tzotzos explained that he had just been promoted to this position when Rick Fleming stepped down after 8 years of service. He thanked Rick for his time and energy and noted that everyone was very happy he would be remaining on as a Firefighter and First Responder.
He also thanked Walter Berry and Kyle Clifford for their efforts in being the driving forces behind keeping the Hall clean and recent upgrades.
He noted that the No. 2 Hall had 10 members, 4 of which were probationary members, but that 3 new people were going to be joining and this was the most members at the South Hall that he could remember.
Chairman Mark Noyon noted that the Trustees have one big dinner a year, and that their usual honourarium is $0.00.
Moved by Sam McGee that the Trustees honourarium remain the same, seconded by Inge McGee, carried.
Election of Trustees
The Chairman thanked outgoing Trustee Jeremy Baker for his efforts and time, and noted that three Trustee positions were available, two for 3 year terms and one for 1 term. As the Chairman was one of the positions that was up for election, Trustee John Hudson stood in as Chair.
John Hudson asked for nominations from the floor.
Inge McGee nominated Sam McGee, seconded by Fred Withey.
Isabelle Caron nominated Wilf Caron, seconded by Syreeta Caron.
Paula Mallinson nominated Sandra Rudischer, seconded by Veronica Hartman.
John Hudson nominated Mark Noyon, seconded by Oscar Reeves.
The Chair asked 3 more times for nominations from the floor, non forthcoming, ballots were handed out and collected by Scrutineers Veronica Hartman and Kyle Clifford, they retired into the back room and counted the ballots.
Mark Noyon and Sandra Rudischer were elected, while there was a tie between Sam McGee and Wilf Caron. Once again ballots were distributed and counted. Wilf Caron was appointed as the new Trustee.
Herb Rudischer moved that the meeting be adjourned, seconded by Will Sprogis, carried. Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
The Gabriola Firefighters’ Association invites you to their Hallowe’en fireworks show.
When: Friday, October 31st, 2014. 7 pm.
Where: Gabriola Sands Provincial Park. (Twin Beaches)
Expect great fireworks and a huge bonfire! Wear your Hallowe’en costume if you have one.
Firefighters will be serving hot dogs and hot chocolate. There will be candy for trick-or-treaters.
You can contribute to this event by putting money in our Hallowe’en fireworks boots. You’ll see them at some local businesses, and at the event. You might find firefighters asking for donations in the ferry line-up, too, or elsewhere in the community. Please support us so that we can continue this Gabriola tradition.
GABRIOLA FIRE PROTECTION IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
SPECIAL MEETING – OCTOBER 8, 2014, 7:30 P.M., NO. 1 HALL
There will be a Special General Meeting for the Gabriola Fire Protection Improvement District on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. at the No. 1 Fire Hall (730 Church Street). The purpose of the meeting will be to elect a member of the public, a registered land owner in the Improvement District and a Canadian Citizen 18 years or older, for a vacancy on the Board of Trustees, to fill the remainder of a term of approximately 2 years (April 2016). Nominations accepted from the floor.
For each firefighter, PPE includes a mask and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). It’s crucial that the mask fit properly and seal tightly. To ensure that it does, every firefighter must pass a “face fit” test every year. This is a requirement of WorkSafe BC — and a requirement that is just fine with us!
Here you see firefighter Walter Berry wearing his mask while hooked up to the testing apparatus.
From time to time people ask us what we use our old fire hall for, so we thought we’d show you one of the things we do there. (Click photo to see a larger version of it.)
This is a photo we took last fall during auto-extrication training – that is, training to get victims out of automobiles after crashes.
The red vehicle has been imobilized by a thing called the telecrib: that is the red and blue metal support you see in the corner of the vehicle.
Firefighters on the ground are playing the role of first responders, who tend to the medical needs of the patients. (The patient in this case is a mannequin.)
The firefighters wearing red helmets are our training officers, Will Sprogis and Jethro Baker.
In the rear of the vehicle, a firefighter is about to cut through the vehicle using hydraulic cutters (jaws of life).
Our training session this week involved rappelling down a cliff and climbing back up again – necessary skills for Gabriola firefighters, as we are called when people get injured on slopes.
In these two photos you see firefighter Peter Wishinski. In the first shot he’s at the top of the cliff, getting ready. In the second photo, you see Peter beginning his descent.
The Gabriola Fire Hall does not have a fireman’s pole. When we’re upstairs and our pagers go off, we hurry down the stairs.
Have you ever wondered how the idea of having fireman’s poles came about in the first place? Or why fire halls don’t have them anymore? If so, you might be interested in this article at Priceonomics: The rise and fall of the fireman’s pole.
Last night we put up the ‘no fire’ signs all around Gabriola, and switched our fire status to high early shift.
We’re always concerned about the risk of wildfire on Gabriola, so we practice wildland firefighting skills regularly. Here are some photos from Tuesday night’s practice, which was up in the Legends area at the end of Seymour Road.
We began by driving our wildland truck into the forest, setting up a portatank (not shown here, but explained in another post) and carrying hose into the scene. Once we had water flowing some firefighters manned the hoses, spraying class A fire foam into the trees. This foam is used both to extinguish fires, and to coat nearby trees or houses in order to protect them from fire.
Other firefighters used water backpacks, which are perfect for extinguishing small fires in grass or brush.
Click on any of the images here if you’d like to see a larger version.
At 11 pm last night our pagers went off, and the message dispatch gave us was “report of a bush fire, visible from Nanaimo.” This is alarming because Gabriola is dry right now, and a wildfire could be devastating.
Within minutes, most of our trucks and our command vehicle were on the road, and firefighters began looking for the fire. So if you saw fire trucks driving around last night, that’s why.
We looked and looked, but found no fire. We smelled no smoke. In the end, we concluded that the caller had been mistaken, so we stood down and went back to our respective halls. And then to bed.
Last night our firefighting practice was at Degnen Bay. This overview shot was taken from the end of Maple Lane, where there’s a public access trail down the hill to Degnen dock.
The immense spray of water you see in this photo is coming from our hose line, and is directed out towards an imaginary boat fire.
Here are two more photos of this practice session:
Our ham-radio friends sent us this announcement:
Visit the radio room in the new firehall for amateur radio field day on June 28th 10 am to June 29th 10am.
This annual North American event is organized to test and demonstrate amateur radio communications in times of disaster.
All are welcome to drop in at any time during the event.
Gabriola firefighters extinguished a fire on the beach at Sandwell this morning.
It appears the fire was the result of someone’s unextinguished beach fire. The wind had spread it throughout the logs and it was heading for the grass on the dyke.
Here’s a photo:
Last night’s training session involved rescuing our manequin from a confined space. We used a large tank as the confined space, and had it filled with artificial smoke. These two photos give you an idea of what’s involved in the rescue.
Did you notice? This snapshot of ours is on the front page of the Flying Shingle this week.
This photo shows firefighter Will Sprogis (in the red helmet) using a thermal imaging camera. The fire we found has been extinguished; Will is looking to see if any parts of the building are really hot, which would indicate a hidden fire that our crews would need to expose and extinguish.
On the left of the photo you can see a bit of a hoseline and nozzle in the picture. If a fire had been found, the firefighter on that hoseline would have extinguished it.
Our fire chief, Rick Jackson, is looking on. He’s the guy in the white helmet.
The Shingle story is here: Fire crews dispatch fire on Brown’s way.
Here’s more about that fire from our blog: A June morning structure fire.
Today Gabriola firefighters spent several hours in front of the elementary school, running a car wash. If you stopped by with dirt all over your car, you left with a sparkling clean vehicle.
Shown in this image: Lee Dunbrack and Evan McIntosh.
(Related news article in the Gabriola Sounder: Fundraising Car Wash & bottle drive for BC Burn Fund.)
This morning Gabriola firefighters were up early again – this time to fight a structure fire in a small home.
Here’s a photo we managed to get of our attack team inside the building:
The wildfire risk in California is greater than we usually face here on Gabriola, so Californians tend to be more organized than we are when it comes to wildfire prevention.
Here they’re using goats to help prevent wildfire. The idea is that the goats eat dry brush, so they remove fuel for fires.
You may not have goats to do the job, but removing fuel for wildfires is a good idea. For more info on that, see the wildfire section of our website.