Excellent prizes, fun things to do

Volunteers from the Errington Fire Department are inviting the public to come see what they do in the community

Volunteers from the Errington Fire Department are inviting the public to come see what they do in the community at an open house 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Errington Fire Hall Sunday, Oct. 14.

The family event is an opportunity for the public to meet the volunteers who provide fire and emergency services in the community and also learn some fire safety skills.

A fire-hose demo will provide children with the opportunity to participate in a water stream challenge.

Sparky the Safety Dog and Smokey the Bear will be on hand to mingle with the kids and there will be live music, refreshments and raffle tickets for some great prizes.

First prize is an original Dan Gray pastel of a 1949 fire truck that used to be part of the firefighting fleet in Errington.

The vintage vehicle which resides at Fire Hall Number One is no longer used for fire calls and earlier this year it was pushed outside where Gray painted his impression of the truck.

The Errington artist is well known in these parts for painting old vehicles he finds abandoned in bushes and he graciously agreed to paint the old fire truck and donate it to the department for their fundraiser.

Gray’s work has won many awards and his pieces are admired by many in the world of pastels.  The fire truck painting is valued at $1500.

Second prize is a gift certificate for a treatment at Tigh-Na-Mara’s Grotto Spa.

The EVFD has been in the community since 1965 and while a lot has changed since the early days of the EVFD one thing that remains constant is the dedication of the volunteers who serve on the department.

Currently the volunteer firefighter numbers are down in Errington and Fire Chief Colin Catton says if new recruits don’t come forward the level of fire protection in Errington could be in danger.

Members will be on hand Sunday to explain what is involved in becoming a firefighter and the many benefits of joining the department.

Former fire fighter John Pickard who joined department in 1972 said he learned a lot of skills as a member of the department and he also enjoyed the camaraderie.

Pickard said he has many fond memories from his stint volunteering with the EVFD including driving the old 1949 truck.

“It was the main truck back then.  Back in those days the fire hall was located in the little hall beside the Errington War Memorial Hall.

We came one time and someone had broken in and taken the fire extinguishers and sprayed the trucks inside and out and all around the fire hall.  They made quite a mess,” he recalled.

“Another time I remember we came to the fire hall for a fire call.  There was a house burning down on Leffler Road.  It was a unique house called Sunshine’s Tree House.  It was built around a fir tree and the bed was a big mound of straw.”

He said when they got to the hall there was a dance going on and it was a bit of a tricky situation.

“When we went to take the trucks out the people were fooling around and barricading themselves in front of us as we tried to get the trucks out.”

As it turned out the house on fire belonged to one of those people at the dance.

“It was his house burning down and he didn’t know it.  When we got there the tree was torching and the fire had got into the straw and it was almost impossible to put it out,” Pickard explained.

He admitted that things have changed a lot since he was involved in the department and for the better.

“It is night and day from what we used to have.”

Pickard is now a snowbird who spends his winters stateside and although he won’t be around for the October 14 open house at 960 Errington Road he encourages residents of Errington to continue to support the fire department and all that they do for the community.