Editorial: Celebrating the hard work of our firefighters

It is the community firefighters who are going to show up and save the day.

Who you gonna call?

Realistically, it’s not the Ghostbusters. If you have a fire, or need medical assistance, it is the community firefighters who are going to show up and save the day.

Of all of the occasions we acknowledge as a community and as a newspaper, we always think Fire Prevention Week is one of the most important. Not only is this our chance to say thank you to our incredibly hardworking volunteer firefighters, but it’s also a good time to figure out our own fire plan.

On the first point, we cannot say enough about how exceptional our community firefighters are on Vancouver Island.

RELATED: Nearly 100 Saanich firefighters join heart health study for first responders

RELATED: Why cancer is deadlier than fire for firefighters in B.C.

They spend countless hours practicing and keeping in shape, keeping the equipment in working order, and just generally making sure they are at the ready for when the siren on the firehall sounds. And sound it does, as anyone who lives near a firehall can attest. At all hours of the day and night, these quiet heroes head to the hall at the call of duty, never knowing what they might be stepping into.

Many of these volunteers do more than just fight fires. They are first responders to crash sites, and are called out to provide medical aid or employ the jaws of life.

And that’s on top of their day jobs that pay the bills.

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, their work has become even more complicated, with COVID protocols to learn and adhere to, on top of all of their regular training.

These men and women deserve to be celebrated, at least once a year.

The other important part of Fire Prevention Week is that it’s a reminder. Change out your smoke alarm batteries. Check your fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide monitors, if you have them. Are all of the entries and exits to your house useable, or have you piled junk in front of a door or window that should be moved? And, critically, do you have a plan for what you will do in case of a fire?

Does your entire family know the plan and have the same plan? Now is the time to think about these things, not when you’re running for the door with a cloth over your nose to keep from breathing in the smoke. Everyone in your house needs to know how to get out. They need to know where you’re going to meet after exiting the building. What is the plan for any pets in your household?

For that matter, do you know what the fire plan is at your workplace? Do you know where the emergency exits are, and where you are to assemble if you have to evacuate? Something else to think about.

At some point this week, take a few minutes and give yourself a refresher. Prevention and preparedness can avert tragedy.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Editorials

Just Posted

A picture of John taken at Children's Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River grocery store parking lot

The seven-year-old Campbell River resident has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

A video message from Mrime Minister Justin Trudeau was streamed to attendees at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Tuesday morning. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance image)
Prime minister greets Vancouver Island economic summit attendees

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance conference being held virtually this week

Candice Woloshyn prepares her flower beds for the next season at her ‘Dirty Girl Flowers’ farm in Merville. Despite the pandemic, Woloshyn was able to sustain her homegrown business as community members opted for regular deliveries of fresh cut flowers. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.
Vancouver Island flower farmers were blooming as the pandemic wilted everything else

Floriculturists saw increased subscriptions as fresh flowers became a ‘sight for sore eyes’ during isolation

Struggling to afford rent, Sylvia Bailey is hoping to trade her love of cooking for some more affordable accommodation. (Photo courtesy of Sylvia Bailey)
Retired Victoria woman looking to cook, clean or garden in exchange for rent

Sylvia Bailey is hoping to use her love for cooking to help afford rent

View Royal Coun. John Rogers stands next to an unearthed home heating oil tank. As a way to prevent environmental disasters, he is lobbying for a provincial registration system and mandatory inspection for all above-ground tanks, as well as a requirement to remove any underground tanks not used for a prescribed period of time. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Efforts to regulate Greater Victoria home heating oil tanks continues

View Royal councillor part of movement to identify old tanks, prevent catastrophic leaks

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating two fires set in the stairwell of an apartment building after they were deemed suspicious by Nanaimo Fire Rescue. (Photo submitted)
Fires set in apartment building under investigation in Nanaimo

Paper set alight in apartment building stairwells being investigated as arson

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

Ucluelet RCMP detachment. (Westerly file photo)
Driver facing charges after crashing into pedestrian at Ucluelet crosswalk

“It’s a reminder to slow down and pay attention,” said Sgt. Steve Mancini.

In a statement, BC RCMP’s media relations officer Cpl.Chris Manseau said that even an amount as small as grain of sand could be fatal. (File photo)
Sayward RCMP alerts residents after highly toxic carfentanil found in village

The opioid’s toxicity levels is 100 times more than that of fentanyl

Father Charles Brandt, a hermit priest. File Photo
Island environmentalist and Catholic priest-hermit Father Charles Brandt passes away

He devoted his life to protecting and preserving the Comox Valley’s natural habitats

Most Read