Editorial: Only you can aid fire fight

Volunteering is an essential part of our community.

The communities on Northern Vancouver Island are sustained by an extraordinary depth of volunteerism which keeps our standard of living so high despite our relative isolation. An essential part of that standard of living is the knowledge that when things go bad, there are groups of volunteers who will be there to catch us when we fall.

The most prominent of these emergency volunteer organizations are our local fire departments — and most of them need your help immediately.Unfortunately, many of our departments are getting very thin both in numbers and, in some cases, their hairlines.

A big challenge is members who work by day in the bush and are unable to respond to emergencies back home. Departments are trying to cope through mutual aid agreements between communities but this only partially meets the need.  Our departments, particularly the rural stations, need men and women who work near their homes and are able respond at noon on a Thursday. A trained firefighter who is 120 lbs. can save lives whereas a 200-pound member stuck in Hushamu Creek can only fret about what is going on — if they even know what is happening.

Please look at your current life and at your family and friends. Can you lend one evening a week to get some great training and meet some awesome people?  Our departments will show you how to make a huge difference as they have with all their existing and previous members.

They need you, and look forward to meeting some new faces — and hairlines — in the near future.

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