Re: Hall costs exceed expectations (Letters Sept. 19)
I take exception to yet another misleading and grossly inaccurate letter written by Mr. Francis Blundell. As View Royal’s fire chief, I am the town’s expert on fire protection. I do not speculate, guess, or mislead. Fire protection is a life and safety issue and there is no room for erroneous statements and assumptions.
The volunteer firefighters in this community, who respond to nearly 800 calls for service each year do so without thanks or a paycheque. They bleed, break bones, get burned and risk their lives. They do so because they love this community and want nothing more than to help those in need. To publicly call their abilities into question is outrageous. Their service to our community and their level of expertise is outstanding and second to none.
There has been considerable misinformation circulated around View Royal regarding the replacement of our outdated fire station. I question whether those that denounce the plan have ever stepped foot inside the very building they are discussing. I have been completely up front with mayor and council and the community on our needs. All those involved have shown tremendous leadership in moving this vital project forward.
Our requirements, equipment and training are based on 29 years of experience, expert third party analysis, legislation and recommended practice.
Mr. Blundell again suggests that View Royal could build a smaller fire hall and have less equipment if the Victoria General Hospital were not within its boundaries. Once again it needs to be pointed out that View Royal has no equipment that is specifically for use at VGH and the hospital being in our service area has no bearing on the size and scope of the proposed fire hall. This point has been made numerous times in the last few months and yet it seems that some are intent on continuing this misinformation.
I invite and encourage every resident to give me a call, and the hall is open every Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. for any resident that wants to ask questions about the building, the volunteers, or how we do business.
I respect the notion that some residents are not in favour of the project. I, however, am proud that our composite fire department is one of the most cost effective operations in the region.
Fire Chief, View Royal