Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)

Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

In the name of inclusivity, Oak Bay is changing the name of Fireman’s Park to Firefighter’s Park.

The term fireman has long been abandoned amongst firefighting organizations in Canada and it was only a matter of time for the park, noted said Oak Bay Fire Chief Darren Hughes.

“It’s one of those changes that’s come. The fire services is an old organization and this is a positive change,” Hughes said.

Council approved the name change three years ago but it took a while to actualize. Hughes and company took the old sign down on Friday.

READ ALSO: Bonfire at Fireman’s Park in Oak Bay ‘every kid’s dream’

The cost of the new sign is being shared by the Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation, Oak Bay Fire Department and Oak Bay Park who ordered the new sign that should be ready to install in a few weeks, Hughes said.

There are actually two elements to the name change, Hughes said. One is inclusivity. The other is that while the term fireman has long been applied to firefighters it actually had its own definition.

“My grandfather was a fireman on a ship, an actual fireman that shoveled coal into the fire to feed the boiler. Fireman was also conventionally used in children’s books and literature for firefighters, but that’s what it meant to be a fireman for my grandfather, and he would often point that out,” Hughes said.

READ MORE: Oak Bay Fire’s newest charity executive

The Oak Bay Fire Department does not have a woman firefighter yet though it does have two women on staff, Eileen Grant, the Emergency Program Manager, and an administrative assistant.

It’s not for a lack trying, Hughes said. In Oak Bay Fire Department’s last hiring wave, which is done jointly with Esquimalt Fire Department, there were 100 applicants who wrote the entry exams. Only one was a woman.

“Recruitment is a challenge. It’s on the radar for the next round. We’re certainly looking into why the applicants are low… to identify what those reasons are. We have a welcome environment,” Hughes said.

Firefighter’s Park has a long tradition as a popular playground and as the home of youth baseball. It is also home to one of Oak Bay’s most popular annual events, when the firefighters set light to a massive bonfire and let children take turns spending the night putting the fire out with a fire hose.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Traffic is backed up due to a crash on Highway 1. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)
West-bound Highway 1 traffic backed up due to crash

First responders are reportedly on the scene

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Saanich police cruiser (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: Driver stopped for road rage incident on Pat Bay Highway fails breathalyzer test: police

Several witnesses reported driver to police, school officer intercepted

Police escorts for Victoria bylaw workers entering encampments in parks will continue for this month, after council approved a $25,000 budget request from VicPD. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria bylaw staff encampment work to include police escort through April

Taxpayers to see modest increase in property taxes for 2021

Victoria’s bylaw restricting businesses from providing most plastic checkout bags came into effect on April 15. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
Victoria’s bylaw banning plastic bags back in effect

The bylaw restricts businesses from providing most plastic checkout bags, charges for alternatives

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read