Fun and fire safety at Forest Grove

Kaiden Davidson (centre) smiles as he uses a fire hose with the help of his dad Dustin Davidson and Forest Grove firefighter Andrew Grey. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Kaiden Davidson (centre) smiles as he uses a fire hose with the help of his dad Dustin Davidson and Forest Grove firefighter Andrew Grey. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Kaiden Davidson (from left) watches with big sister Natalie Davidson and little sister Kelsie Davidson as his mom Bree Davidson and firefighter Andrew Grey attempt to talk Kelsie into trying the hose. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Kaiden Davidson (from left) watches with big sister Natalie Davidson and little sister Kelsie Davidson as his mom Bree Davidson and firefighter Andrew Grey attempt to talk Kelsie into trying the hose. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Kaiden Davidson (from left) smiles as he uses a fire hose with the help of his dad Dustin Davidson and Fores Grove firefighter Andrew Grey. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Kaiden Davidson (from left) smiles as he uses a fire hose with the help of his dad Dustin Davidson and Fores Grove firefighter Andrew Grey. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jamie Johson practices stopping, dropping and rolling at the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jamie Johson practices stopping, dropping and rolling at the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ainsley Davidson scrambles out of a tube designed to mimic crawling underneath smoke during a house fire. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ainsley Davidson scrambles out of a tube designed to mimic crawling underneath smoke during a house fire. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Michelle Meeker, the assistant fire chief of the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department, helps Ainsley Johnson pull a fire hose up to a ‘window’ on a fire safety obstacle course. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Michelle Meeker, the assistant fire chief of the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department, helps Ainsley Johnson pull a fire hose up to a ‘window’ on a fire safety obstacle course. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Xander Johnson practices rolling on the ground to put out a fire at the Forest Grove Fire Department. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Xander Johnson practices rolling on the ground to put out a fire at the Forest Grove Fire Department. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Xander Johnson uses a fire hose at the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Xander Johnson uses a fire hose at the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Children who attended the open house at the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department received blastic firefighter helmets including Xander Johnson (from left), Jamie Johnson, Ainsley Johnson, Natalie Davidson, Kaiden Davidson and Kelsie Davidson. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Children who attended the open house at the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department received blastic firefighter helmets including Xander Johnson (from left), Jamie Johnson, Ainsley Johnson, Natalie Davidson, Kaiden Davidson and Kelsie Davidson. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Members of the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department pose in front of their new fire truck. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Members of the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department pose in front of their new fire truck. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Greyson Hollsworth army crawls ‘below the smoke’ through a tube at the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department’s open house. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Greyson Hollsworth army crawls ‘below the smoke’ through a tube at the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department’s open house. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Torstein Arsenault smiles broadly as he stands atop an obstacle at the Forest Grove Fire Hall. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Torstein Arsenault smiles broadly as he stands atop an obstacle at the Forest Grove Fire Hall. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Michelle Meeker, assistant fire chief for the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department, helps Kaiden Davidson hoist a bundle of hose up over an obstacle. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Michelle Meeker, assistant fire chief for the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department, helps Kaiden Davidson hoist a bundle of hose up over an obstacle. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Wearing two firefighter helmets River Selle douses a van set up as target practice with a hose. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Wearing two firefighter helmets River Selle douses a van set up as target practice with a hose. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Hunter Goodson smiles as he tries out using a fire hose at the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department’s open house. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Hunter Goodson smiles as he tries out using a fire hose at the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department’s open house. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Fire safety took centre stage at the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department’s open house Saturday.

Children got to experience a fire safety-theme obstacle course, built and donated by resident Mal Wood, that taught them how to crawl under smoke, what to do when they hear a smoke alarm, the proper way to stop, drop, and roll and how to hoist a fire hose to a window. They then joined the adults in using a fire hose to knock down some wooden targets.

The event, at Forest Grove’s Number One Fire Hall, also included the opportunity to see the department’s fleet of fire trucks, including a brand new fire truck with a hydraulically lowered inflatable ‘bladder’ style tank.

“It’s all about fire safety, having working smoke alarms on the floor of every house. The faster they know something is going on, the faster they can get out of the house,” said assistant fire chief Michelle Meeker, explaining that fires can spread so much faster today due to construction practices. She encouraged everyone at the event to ask questions and learn to protect themselves.

READ MORE: Cariboo firefighters deployed to Oregon

“It’s the community’s fire department and they need to be involved and know what’s going on.”

Bree Davidson, a mother of three, who came to the event with her kids to burn off some energy, said she is now considering volunteering at the VFD on Monday nights. Her family is new to the area, having moved here in February, and she feels it could be a good hobby now that her children are in school and their grandmother is living with them.

“I never thought of it but I’m actually super excited to give it a whirl,” Davidson said of applying to be a volunteer firefighter. “I appreciate any volunteer stuff that goes on like this.”

Since she arrived at Forest Grove, Meeker said the department has gone through several changes as they’re trying to make the department the best it can be. She recently applied for a Community Resiliency Grant from the Fire Chief Association and Red Cross for a total of $52,000 to use to purchase new equipment.

Some of that new equipment includes the brand new fire truck that was on display, as well as the trailer for their new Structural Protection Unit, which is still waiting for its equipment. An SPU would allow the fire department to protect homes during a wildfire by setting up sprinklers and other defences.

Currently, the department only has access to one SPU, which is shared between them and several other local fire departments, so the purchase was a big help.

“As we found out in 2017, when 100 Mile is on fire, 108 is on fire, Lac La Hache is on fire and so on and so forth, one unit between us isn’t going to work, so we’ve purchased our own,” Meeker said. “The winter project is to get that unit up and running so then we will have an SPU for the Forest Grove/Canim Lake area.”

Meeker said they also have a new water tender truck on order to replace one that leaks frequently, despite numerous patches. After they get that one built, they’ll be purchasing another new water tender, which will then give them a brand new fleet of trucks, she said.

Her final bit of fire safety advice is specifically geared towards Forest Grove. If you don’t already, Meeker asks that people put up a sign with their address clearly visible near the road as it can help them a lot when trying to respond to a call in the dark.

Anyone interested in joining can come down to the fire hall during their Monday night practices at 7 p.m. and pick up an application form.


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

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