Neil’s Har­bour New Haven Vol­un­teer FD

44 years in ser­vice... and still count­ing

The Victoria Standard - - COMMUNITY - FAYE FRICKER

The Neil’s Har­bour-new Haven Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment (NHNH VFD) was formed in 1973. Of the orig­i­nal 16 mem­bers, 3 re­main ac­tive mem­bers. Ron In­gram, In­nis Budge and Dale Smith con­tinue to serve the com­mu­nity with ded­i­ca­tion and pride. On Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 12th all three mem­bers vol­un­teered their time to work at a Fish & Chip Sup­per which is one of the ma­jor fundrais­ers un­der­taken each year by the fire de­part­ment. Ron and In­nis de­liv­ered meals in the com­mu­nity while Dale spent the day cook­ing and serv­ing up food in the kitchen. Ron (age 96) and In­nis (the young feller, at age 77) are likely the old­est de­liv­ery boys in Nova Sco­tia and all they ask for in re­turn is a feed of chicken wings!

There are cur­rently twenty-six ac­tive mem­bers in the NH-NH Fire De­part­ment. Along with the three orig­i­nal mem­bers who have served for forty-four years, there are sev­eral other long­stand­ing mem­bers who have served more than 25 years. These in­clude: Keith Dowl­ing (39 years), Greg Or­gan (36 years, 32 years as Fire Chief), Blair Fricker (32 years), Billy Ho­gan (30 years), Mur­ray Ride­out (27 years), and David Dono­van (27 years, 24 years as Deputy Chief ).

There have been many changes to the fire de­part­ment in the past 44 years. They are cur­rently in their third fire sta­tion which was built in 1998. Since that time the fire sta­tion has been ren­o­vated to in­clude a large meet­ing space in the up­stairs. A Com­fort Cen­ter was added to pro­vide pub­lic wash­rooms, show­ers and laun­dry fa­cil­i­ties that can be used by both lo­cal res­i­dents and vis­i­tors to the area. The fire de­part­ment was also in­stru­men­tal in start­ing the En­viro De­pot in New Haven and has do­nated land to pro­vide a space for a Green Gym and a bas­ket­ball court/rink that every­one can en­joy.

The ma­jor­ity of fund­ing for the fire de­part­ment’s op­er­at­ing and train­ing costs is pro­vided by the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Vic­to­ria County. Some other costs are funded by the pro­vin­cial govern­ment and sup­ple­mented by the fundrais­ing ef­forts of the fire mem­bers.

Fundrais­ers in­clude weekly 45 card games, lob­ster and tree sales at Christ­mas­time and sev­eral fish and chip sup­pers through­out the win­ter months. In the past, an­nual “Linger by the Sea” fes­ti­vals were or­ga­nized and run by the fire­men and other vol­un­teers in the com­mu­nity. Funds raised with these ac­tiv­i­ties have helped the fire de­part­ment with ren­o­va­tions and pur­chases of new equip­ment. It also en­ables them to give back to the com­mu­nity in many ways. Each Christ­mas they bring Santa on the fire truck to visit and dis­trib­ute treats to the pa­tients at Buchanan Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal, res­i­dents of High­land Manor, shutins, and all the chil­dren in the com­mu­nity.

The Neil’s Har­bour-new Haven Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment is an in­te­gral and val­ued part of the com­mu­nity. Many thanks are ex­tended to all the vol­un­teer fire­men for their ded­i­ca­tion and ser­vice.

NH-NH Vol­un­teer Fire Dept mem­bers In­nis Budge (left) and Ron In­gram (right) de­liver meals as part of a Fish & Chip Sup­per fundraiser held on Fe­bru­ary 12, 2017.

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