There were quite a few promotions in the fire prevention division of the Saanich Fire Department last month. The division has six members and three of them were promoted to new positions on July 1.
Mike Simpson is now the assistant chief, Carl Trepels replaced Simpson as the division captain and Sean Lillis was named one of the four lieutenants in the division.
Congratulations to newly promoted Captain Carl Trepels of our Fire Prevention Division!
Your continued dedication to keeping our citizens of Saanich safe is to be commended.
— Saanich Fire (@SaanichFire) July 31, 2019
Trepels said he and Simpson started at Saanich Fire together in 2003 before transferring to the fire prevention division in 2009. Everyone starts on the floor in the Suppression and Rescue Division, providing emergency response service, he explained.
While Trepels does miss going out with the firetrucks, he finds his work rewarding. Being in fire prevention is different and the work isn’t what most people think of when they envision firefighters. Trepels and his division focus on non-emergency issues such as building code and bylaw enforcement, public building inspections, investigations to determine the cause of fires and educational talks and demonstrations.
There’s a lot of time spent in the community and working to keep the public and the firefighters safe with thorough inspections, Trepels explained. “I really do enjoy being on the front line of community engagement.”
Those in fire prevention have a lot of details to be aware of and are constantly taking courses to stay up to date on the diverse and technical aspects of the job, said Trepels.
Some of the things the public can do to help out include taking inspections seriously, checking appliances regularly and keeping smoke detectors in working condition.
“Fires do happen and we want to keep people safe out there,” he said.
Anyone interested in learning more or celebrating the Saanich Fire Department, is welcome at the 100th anniversary open house at the number one station on Vernon Avenue. The free event will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sept. 21. There will be demonstrations, earthquake simulators, a survival training truck, face painting and more.