The Colwood Firefighters Historical Museum was filled with visitors on Saturday (Aug. 6).
The museum is usually open by appointment and had been closed entirely during the pandemic. In March 2020, just before the pandemic was declared and public health restrictions forced many public spaces to close, the Colwood Volunteer Firefighters Association held a similar open house at the museum with the intent of making it a regular event.
“The museum really needs to be open like today so people can come in and ask questions and make it a proper, living museum,” said Lt. Tim Hamblin. “There is a lot of history here … it’s a great way to be able to see where you come from.”
Beyond giving the association an opportunity to share the more than 75 years of firefighting history in the region, Hamblin said public events like this also provide opportunities for the department to engage with the community and remind residents that firefighters are more than just a uniform – they’re members of the community as well.
“Back when I first started as a firefighter, everyone in the community knew who all the firefighters were because we were pretty small, now everything is much bigger, and people may not even be aware there is still a large volunteer component,” he said, noting it also provides an opportunity to recruit more volunteers. “If we can bring people in and make them think ‘I wouldn’t mind being a firefighter myself,’ then we can hand them an application form.”
With the return of public days a success, Hamblin said the plan is to make them a monthly occurrence once again – though an exact schedule is still being worked on.