Four years for Bay de Grave re­gional

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­

Mem­bers and sup­port­ers of the Bay de Grave fire depart­ment marked the four-year an­niver­sary of the re­gional bri­gade dur­ing an an­nual din­ner, awards night and dance on March 29. For more,

There was a cause for cel­e­bra­tion at the Royal Cana­dian Legion in Bri­gus on March 29.

The Bay de Grave Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment cel­e­brated its fourth an­niver­sary dur­ing the an­nual fire­fight­ers’ ball.

The mood in­side the legion was one part jovial and one part solemn as fire­fight­ers cel­e­brated an­other year un­der their belts, while at the same time, re­mem­ber­ing in­ci­dents of the past 12 months.

With the sup­port of neigh­bour­ing de­part­ments in Bay Roberts, Bri­gus and Up­per Is­land Cove, along with wel­comed guest Har­bour Main MHA Tom Hed­der­son, guests were treated to a de­lec­ta­ble meal.

It was a great show of com­mu­nity sup­port as the Legion was at ca­pac­ity.

Bay de Grave Fire Chief Jeremy Hall held court as the mas­ter of cer­e­monies.

“It takes a cer­tain type of in­di­vid­ual to face what we have to­gether,” said the chief.

As he ut­tered these words, Hall spoke the name of each of the 25 fire­fight­ers that serve with Bay de Grave. “It is my hon­our as chief to stand here and in­tro­duce my crew,” he said. When Hall did this each rose as the crowd showed their ap­pre­ci­a­tion. The Bay de Grave depart­ment serves the com­mu­ni­ties of South River, North River, Makin­sons, Clarke’s Beach and Cupids.

The depart­ment re­sponded to 77 calls in 2013. That in­cludes eight gen­eral fire calls, eight struc­ture fires, 37 ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents, four chim­ney fires, three ve­hi­cle fires, eight rubbish/brush fires, nine alarms and one med­i­cal call.

“We are or­di­nary people who are put in ex­tra­or­di­nary sit­u­a­tions,” said Hall.

The depart­ment also wel­comed two new hon­orary mem­bers in for­mer lieu­tenant Kip Mitchell and Frank Bishop Sr.

The crew’s in­ven­tory

Bay de Grave fea­tures an im­pres­sive in­ven­tory of equip­ment at its dis­posal. There are four ve­hi­cles: a 2010 Freight­liner 1050 pumper, a Chevro­let res­cue van, 1993 GMC 625 pumper and a 1971 Ford 625 pumper.

There are also a set of hy­draulic ex­trac­tion tools, known as the jaws of life, as well as a heavy lift airbag sys­tem.

Help­ing out

The big an­nounce­ment in the 2014 provin­cial budget where fire de­part­ments are con­cerned re­volves around the more than $5 mil­lion al­lot­ted for fire de­part­ments across the prov­ince. That was good news for the Bay de Grave depart­ment, who are in the mar­ket for a new pumper truck. In his speech, Hed­der­son ad­dressed that de­sire. “I can’t guar­an­tee it, but I tell you we’re go­ing to put up one hell of a fight,” he said.

Hed­der­son thanked fire­fight­ers for the work they do ev­ery time a call comes into the sta­tion. He also took the time to rec­og­nize the wives, girl­friends and boyfriends who are left to worry when that call comes in.

“They feel ev­ery fear that you feel,” he said. “If you have a sleep­less night, they’re hav­ing a sleep­less night. They give a tremen­dous con­tri­bu­tion.”

Clarke’s Beach Mayor Betty Moore was on hand as the chair­man of the depart­ment’s board of di­rec­tors.

Moore said the board took a big step this year when it ob­tained in­sur­ance for all mem­bers of Bay de Grave.

“It is so im­por­tant they are pro­tected when they are out serv­ing as fire­fight­ers,” she said.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

The Bay de Grave Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment cel­e­brated its four-year an­niver­sary with its an­nual fire­fight­ers’ ball at the Royal Cana­dian Legion in Bri­gus on March 29. Mem­bers of the depart­ment are: front (l-r) — safety of­fi­cer Cas­san­dra Bishop, crew chief Gre­gory Bishop, lieu­tenant Matthew Moore, Fire Chief Jeremy Hall, cap­tain David Ped­dle, lieu­tenant Aubrey Bishop, crew chief Rod­ney Nor­man, train­ing of­fi­cer Ger­ald Ben­nett; mid­dle — Andrew Bishop, Na­dine Bishop, Clifton (Kip) Mitchell, Lloyd Boyd, Justin Stone, Wen­dell Kennedy, Brian Pet­ten and Brad Bussey; back — Adam But­ler, Brad Dixon and Bill Dixon. Miss­ing from photo is deputy fire chief James Ed­munds, cap­tain Dave Bishop, Derek Akerman, Calvin Snow, Jim Youden, Amanda Cory and Paul Bishop.

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