The Saanich Fire Department is hosting a party to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
On Sept. 21, the public is invited to come down to station No. 1 on Vernon Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a day of activities, prizes, pizza and of course, birthday cake.
Saanich firefighters are looking forward to meeting residents in “non-emergency setting,” said Lt. Insp. Sean Lillis.
Folks who attend will get to take a turn in the earthquake simulator, see various rescue demonstrations, tour the trucks, take a peek at historical artifacts and photos, and watch firefighters run through the fire ground survival program.
The program is part of a big firefighter safety initiative and has been touring B.C. and the Yukon to give all stations a chance to try it. It allows them to practice escaping burning buildings, Lillis explained. In the early 2000s, several firefighters died after getting trapped in burning buildings. The simulator gives all firefighters experience with various quick escape scenarios so they’re prepared if they need to do it for real. Once Saanich Fire is done with the program, it will continue on to other parts of the Island.
Members of the Saanich Fire Department practiced exiting an upstairs window head-first in the Fire Ground Survival Program truck at Station No. 2 today. They will be doing similar simulations at the 100th anniversary celebration event at Station No. 1 on Sept. 21. @SaanichFire 🚒 pic.twitter.com/Udw5uAGAgW— Devon Bidal (@devonscarlett) September 11, 2019
The team practices drills and survival techniques for two to three hours every day, said Lillis.
Saturday’s celebration is for folks of all ages, said Lillis. Kids can enjoy face painting and a bouncy castle.
The youngsters will also be able to try their hands at using a fire hose, step into some firefighter gear and hang out with Sparky the fire dog.
The department started with one firefighter in 1919, and now there are 127 firefighters in the district, said Lillis.