Cache Creek fire chief Tom Moe (second from r) and other members of the fire department with new helmets that were purchased with funds donated by the Ashcroft Legion from its Poppy Fund. (Photo credit: Submitted)

Cache Creek fire chief Tom Moe (second from r) and other members of the fire department with new helmets that were purchased with funds donated by the Ashcroft Legion from its Poppy Fund. (Photo credit: Submitted)

Cache Creek fire department is appealing for new members

Department is down to 14 members, which is a concern for the fire chief

The Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department is once more hosting its annual Halloween fireworks event, and is also putting out a call for new members of the department, in order to boost the ranks and ensure that the village is still deemed to have adequate fire protection.

“We have 14 members at the moment,” says Fire Chief Tom Moe. “A couple of people have lost interest, one person retired, and we’ve had a few move away over the last couple of years, and we’ve only had one new member and a junior join in the last year.”

He says that 12 is the number where they really start to get worried. If the department falls below that, the village could be found not to have enough fire protection, meaning a substantial increase in insurance rates for all residents and businesses with property insurance.

Moe says that anyone wanting to become a member needs to have someone from the department sponsor them. “That person is responsible for signing you up and following you through probation for the first three months. All the training is done in-house, so you don’t have to already have training. And you don’t need to be super-fit.”

The biggest thing, he says, is being committed.

“We like to see people show up at every practice and every call if possible. Practice is every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m., and a few times a year we do extra training on a weekend, all in the area.”

The Cache Creek fire department does not do highway rescue. Moe says that members are occasionally called to help ambulance paramedics with things like lift assists, but those calls are fairly rare. He adds that anyone who is thinking about joining the department and who wants to know more about what’s involved should talk to someone they know who is already a member.

As far as Moe is concerned, there’s one main reason to join the fire department. “Pretty much the only reason we do it is to give back to the community.”

The department recently received a donation from the Ashcroft Legion’s Poppy Fund, and used the money to purchase new helmets for the members. Fire department helmets have a lifespan of about 10 years, but Moe says that many of the ones that were in use until recently were there when he joined the department in 1991.

“They were pretty much timed out. The plastic deteriorates over time, and so do the liners and harnesses. The new ones are very much appreciated.”

Also appreciated was a recent in-kind donation by Associated Electrical Services, who Moe had contacted to get a quote for installing a new SCBA compressor to fill the new air tanks the department had purchased.

“We asked them for a quote to do the work, and they said they would comp the cost of the material and labour for us, which was really nice of them. The old compressor was built in 1984, so it was pretty much timed out as well and pretty tired, and there was no way we could get the 4,500 pounds we need to fill up our new bottles.”

The department has received enough donations — including $1,000 from the Village of Cache Creek — to cover the cost of the fireworks for this year’s Halloween display. The show will start around 8 p.m. on Oct. 31, and while the fireworks will be let off near the north end of town, Moe says there should be a good view from just about anywhere in the community.



editorial@accjournal.ca

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