The Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department offers select birthday parades for local children and seniors in isolation. (File photo)

COVID-19: Dashwood fire department offers birthday parades for kids and seniors

‘Let people know the world is still turning despite the isolation and the quarantine’

If a birthday involving a parade of fire trucks and flashing lights sounds like fun, the Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department may have a treat in store for you.

Residents in the Dashwood/Meadowood area in central Vancouver Island having a birthday in the next couple of months could enjoy a special party, courtesy their local firefighters.

The department wanted to find a way to celebrate people in isolation by driving by with lights flashing and (if you’re lucky) perhaps a happy birthday tune.

They’re limiting it to children between the ages of four and 12, or seniors over 75 in the area.

Jeremy Morton, captain and training officer at the department, said they’ve been surprised at the feedback so far.

“Our chief decided to put it out there to the community, see if there was any interest, and it just kind of took off,” said Morton. “Almost more than we can accommodate.” 

He said it’s been a fairly even split between seniors and kids, in terms of birthday requests. They haven’t actually started doing the birthday parades, but have one set up for someone in their 70s next week.

“It’s a nice way to let the community know that, ‘hey, we’re still out here’, let people know the world is still turning despite the isolation and the quarantine,” he said. “Anything we can do to put a smile on the face of our community members.”

READ MORE: COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

The idea came from other departments on the Island — Dashwood saw them stepping up in their communities and wanted to do the same.

“We’ll come up to the property, maybe into the driveway since a lot of our properties have longer driveways, lights on,” said Morton. “We can do sirens on request, but we typically try and avoid that because sometimes it sets off dogs — sometimes small children think they like the sound of the siren until they actually hear it.”

If you fit into the above categories and want the department to help you celebrate your birthday, email or call the station at 250-752-5434. They ask for as much notice as possible.

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