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NCFD Open House

NCFD Open House

July 1st, 2007  · stk

On the day before Canada Day, the North Cedar Fire Department held it's annual "Open House" event. This year, Scott was there to help out and witness the festivities. Door prizes, demonstrations, hot dogs, cold drinks, balloons, a chance to shoot off a fire hose ... what self-respecting kid (ahem adult?) wouldn't jump at the chance to hang out at the hall for a day? Both Scott and the Oop had a blast!

Happy Canada Day!

The North Cedar Fire Department opened its doors to the public, yesterday, from 10 AM till 3 PM. It was a family and community-oriented event, building goodwill and letting folks see what goes on at the relatively new (opened early 2006) fire hall.

There were plenty of activities, including: a Boot Drive (proceeds donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association), barbecued hot dogs with cold drinks, an inflatable 'bouncy' castle, auto extrication demonstrations, fire-extinguisher demonstration, shooting water from an inch and a half spray nozzle, historical displays, climbing aboard the fire engines, free balloons and general exploration of the hall.

Scott was there, all day, talking with folks and manning the Muscular Dystrophy donations table. Rachel, who had worked the night shift at the hospital, the night before, got up early and brought the Oop down mid-afternoon. Alex "drove" the big fire engine, shot water at a target with Dad, bounced in the blow-up castle and stuffed her face with a hot dog. She had a great time.

For more photos ... continue ...


More Than Fighting Fires

Volunteers at the North Cedar Fire Department do more than fight fires. They respond to medical aide calls, motor vehicle accidents, drug overdoses and a plethora of other emergency calls. The North Cedar Fire Department is manned 100% by volunteers. They're community-minded members who know that there's much more to being a firefighter than holding the south end of a fire hose.

As a case in point, a good number of them donated the majority of their Saturday, to hold a public "Open House" at the fire hall. It's an annual invitation to residents to tour the fire hall, look at the equipment, ask questions and participate in a number of demonstrations and events. It's also a time for firefighters to help raise money for one of their favorite charities - Muscular Dystrophy Association. Door prizes are given away in a raffle, in exchange for donations to this venerable charity.

By all accounts, this year's open house was a success! Young and old (including the Oop), had their turn at manning a fire hose, climbing aboard the fire trucks, eating hot dogs, winning prizes and meeting a number of the local volunteer firefighters.


Hosing the Deck: Hands-on with a Fire Hose

One of the big attractions for kids was shooting off a live fire hose. An inch and a half hose was connected to the fire hydrant at the back of the hall and kids were offered an opportunity to shoot at a target (traffic cone and stop sign), approximately 50 feet away. Of course, a firefighter assisted in holding the hose, so kids wouldn't go flying about the parking lot!

The hose demonstration is not only fun, but it serves to demonstrate how powerful the stream of water is, coming out of the spray nozzle.

There was one young boy who was so keen on being a fireman, that he had to knock down the target no less than three times. Then he was off to explore the fire trucks! His eyes were as big as saucers and his grandparents and aunt had a difficult time keeping up with him.


Raising the Roof: Auto Extrication Demo

As part of the festivities, a contingent of firefighters put on two auto extrication demonstrations. In each situation, a mannequin was placed inside a donated and derelict vehicle. A mock auto accident scenario was presented to the crowd, with the goal of the exercise being to safely remove the injured victim (the dummy) from the vehicle.

This generally meant using the jaws of life and other hydraulic, electric and manual tools to break away the part of the automobile that needed to be removed, in order to safely extricate the victim from the automobile.

Just as in real life situations, not everything goes according to plan. Partway through the first demonstration, the gas-powered hydraulic pump (which powers the hydraulic equipment) FAILED. What happens? What do you do? A man's life is on the line and there's an equipment failure.

Fortunately, crews quickly pulled out the manual pump and worked feverishly to get at the trapped man, still inside the vehicle. The door and post was cut off and the mannequin (presumed to me a man with spinal injuries) was safely extricated from the vehicle. Firefighter Brandon, who manned the manual pump, was huffing and puffing, after the exercise.

During the intermission, crews examined the pump and verified that it needed service. A call was placed and a technician was dispatched from Penticton. The pump was repaired and placed back in service before the night was through.


C'mon Baby Light That Fire: Fire Extinquisher Demo

Another live demonstration that was presented during the open house was a fire extinguisher demonstration. Fire Chief Morgan discussed the differences between the different types of fire extinguishers, while firefighter Floyd demonstrated their use and effectiveness on a live fire.

A mixture of diesel and gasoline was poured into a metal pan and then ignited. It was surprising how stubborn the concoction was to ignite, using a blow torch. Once ignited, the flames and black smoke took off, hissing and sizzling, until doused using a dry chemical and CO2 extinguisher.


Donating to a Worth Cause: Muscular Dystrophy Association

One of the big attractions during the day was the Muscular Dystrophy Association donation table, manned by Scott. Free helium balloons were handed out to the kids (and a few adults) and donations, in the form of a "boot drive", were accepted in return for raffle tickets for door prizes (donated by local businesses).

Thirteen door prizes were won to visitors and residents. The quality of the prizes was remarkable and my advice to Cedar residents: come down to the fire hall for the next open house! The odds of winning at your local fire hall is superior to any lotto draw I can think of. A generous donation to a worthy charity might just put a prize in your lap. ;)

Here's a run down of the prizes and the local businesses that deserve your patronage:

  1. $50-off wine making (Art of Brewing) & 2 DVD movies (Extreme Video)
  2. $40-off gasoline & a Baseball Cap (Cedar General Store)
  3. Fire Extinguisher & Smoke Detector (North Cedar Fire Department)
  4. Portable Camp Stove (Freisen's Hardware)
  5. $25 Gift Certificate (Cedarbrook Restaurant)
  6. $40-off gasoline & a Baseball Cap (Cedar General Store)
  7. $20-off Beer-making (Art of Brewing) & 2 DVD movies (Extreme Video)
  8. $120 Gift Basket (Cedar Hair Design)
  9. "Welcome" tile & Ornaments (49th Parallel Grocery) & $20-off Beer-making (Art of Brewing)
  10. $40-off Gasoline & a Baseball Cap (Cedar General Store)
  11. Roadside Assistance Kit (Catalyst Paper)
  12. $40-off Gasoline & a Baseball Cap (Cedar General Store)
  13. Monogrammed Sweatshirt (Cranberry Arms Pub) & $20-off Brewing (Art of Brewing)

Congratulations to the winners and THANK YOU for making the open house a success, for your continued support and for donating to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

See you Next Year!



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Updated: 25-Jun-2008
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1.flag Gary Comment
Very nice post Scott. The photos are excellent and I like how you have put them in roll of film. It sounds like a very fun day for all the family whilst raising money for a good cause and getting a message about fire safety to everyone there.

You said that the Fire Station in North Cedar was voluntary. How did you get involved? Did you have to do much training or have you always been a firefighter?

I have looked at the North Cedar Fire Department website, very nice.

2.flag stk Comment

Glad you liked the post.

I lived at a fire hall in the United States (two seasons with the City of Davis Fire Department, while attending UCD). Mind you, that was 1980 and 1981, a fair bit ago.

I enjoyed my years at the Davis fire hall and always had it in my mind that I'd volunteer again, whenever I settled down.

Well, here we are some 25 years later and we've only just settled down! I put in my application at North Cedar (and nearby North Oyster) around the first of the year and started in April.

The new recruits are going through our basic training now (First Responders, Air Brakes Course for driving the trucks, live fire training this autumn ... plus lots of on-the-job stuff, under the tutelage of more senior members). We also meet and train on Tuesday nights.

It's a great group of folks, an opportunity to give back to the community and a way to get that adrenaline rush. Shoot, if you lived closer, I'd say, "Why don't you put your name in?"

3.flag Ann Sutthery Comment
Ok, let me try this again. I failed twice already.

Scott, you never cease to surprise me with your accomplishments! Good for you for becoming a volunteer fire fighter again!

I am glad to see a personal story, all that technical stuff bores me-I may learn something if I took time to read it eh!

I will have to find out your and Rachel's schedules. I am about to start a new pattern a 4x5 it is about time!!
Talk later!!

4.flag stk Comment

You'll be happy to know that we're long overdue for a post that is only about Alex (and that I'm working on it right now).

It'll have lots of pictures of the Oop and personal stuff about her.

Nice pattern! You'll have to find time to hop a ferry and visit.

Scott (and sleeping Rachel and video-watching Oop)