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West Shore fire departments opening doors to public

View Royal and Colwood are hosting open houses June 10 and 11
View Royal and Colwood fire departments are hosting open houses on June 10 and 11, respectively, with the public invited to come and meet their local firefighters and taken in fun activities and informative demonstrations. (Black Press Media file photo)

West Shore residents will have two opportunities this weekend to see everything their local fire departments and partner organizations do to keep them safe.

On June 10, View Royal Fire Rescue will hold its annual open house at the public safety building (333 Island Hwy.), then on June 11 Colwood Fire Rescue will hold its event at the Colwood Fire Station (3215 Metchosin Rd.).

Both events promise plenty of fun and education for the whole family, but View Royal’s will be a little extra special as it is the first open house held since the pandemic and the department is marking its 75th anniversary.

“It’s all about coming to meet your community fire department,” said Capt. Geoff Pitre of View Royal Fire Rescue. “The chief gave permission for us to do a giant slab cake to celebrate the anniversary, so that will be there for as long as it lasts.”

Pitre said the department’s members are especially looking forward to the open house as it gives them a much-missed opportunity to connect with their fellow residents and showcase their skills.

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BC Ambulance, West Shore RCMP, Wounded Warrior, Colwood View Royal ESS and volunteer emergency radio operators will be there alongside the fire department, each with their own information display. There will also be plenty of hands-on activities and fun demonstrations, ranging from car fire and extraction demonstrations, fire extinguisher training and an opportunity for kids to test their accuracy with a fire hose.

Snacks and refreshments will also be available.

The following day in Colwood will see a similar range of displays and activities, according to Colwood firefighter Adam Whittaker.

“With our community growing as fast as it is, this is a great opportunity for some of our newer residents to come out and get to know us and what we do,” said Whittaker. “We are also going to have our firefighter fit challenge again this year, which gives people an idea of what we do and how physically taxing it is. It’s also a bit of an internal fun thing for us.”

Whittaker said the event is something each member of the department looks forward to each year. While the department did manage to organize a similar event in fall 2022 to much success, he said having it back at its regular spring time means a lot.

Colwood’s event will also feature a barbecue fundraiser with help from Seafirst Insurance Brokers, with proceeds going toward the Colwood Volunteer Firefighter Historical Fund, which helps maintain the on-site department museum.

Both events are scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and neither will have on-site parking available. Visitors should expect to park in the surrounding areas and be prepared to walk to the station.

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Justin Samanski-Langille

About the Author: Justin Samanski-Langille

I moved coast-to-coast to discover and share the stories of the West Shore, joining Black Press in 2021 after four years as a reporter in New Brunswick.
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