Princeton Fire Department update

  • Mar. 15, 2011 5:00 p.m.
Some of the local fire crew volunteers got up close and personal to this mock vehicle fire.

Some of the local fire crew volunteers got up close and personal to this mock vehicle fire.

“2010 was a transition year, long time member Tony Kirkland retired after 30 years in the department,” explained fire chief Eric Gregson.  “He had been the secretary/treasurer for the last 12 years and this was the first change in the executive committee in that time.”

“We also went from our busiest year in 2009, 145 calls, to one of the slowest in six years, 79 calls.  The Weyerhaeuser hog building was the only major structure call of the year.  Rob Banks and I were away that day.  Frank Harrison and Kevin Sills took charge of the call and did a good job in command.”

The Princeton Volunteer Fire Brigade responded to two residential structure fires, two industrial/commercial structure fires, three vehicle fires, sixteen grass/bon fires, one propane/gas call, eleven alarm activation calls, four chimney fires, five BCAS Assistance calls, four power lines down/electrical calls, two motor vehicle accidents, one CO alarm activation call and one hog/sawdust fuel fire.  The brigade also responded to one forestry call with Engine #12, three fire investigations, ten public relations events and thirteen burning complaints/investigations.  In total, 169 man hours were used for the 79 calls by the volunteers as opposed to the 347 man hours in 2009.

Three calls were categorized by Gregson under the major fire call category.  These fires were: a small pick-up truck fire; a forklift fire at Weyerhaeuser mill; and the hog building at Weyerhaeuser mill.

The volunteers put in 700 hours of practice time.  “The Tulameen, Hayes Creek and Hedley fire departments all attended our live car fire practices during May and June for mutual aid training,” added Gregson.  “It has been a really positive experience for the three brigades.”

The members also continual upgrade and refresh their fire safety education and training through courses.

The fire hall itself underwent some upgrades.  A woman’s/handicap washroom and shower are now done and in use and new lights were installed in the bay area.  “The vehicle exhaust system was expanded to include all vehicles,” added Gregson “and we are happy with the results.”  A mural painted on the outside of the south side of the hall has become a point of interest for visitors and locals alike, getting a lot of positive feedback.  Councillors Frank Armitage and Jason Earle had a recent experience with some visitors who made special comment about the mural.

The fire department’s constitution was reviewed and a full rewriting of it was completed.  Fire pressure and hydrants in the new water system have been tested by the fire department.  Gregson noted that some of the hydrants in the industrial park had not yet been turned on.

“The B.C. Fire Code inspection program is in its last year,” Gregson said, “but the inspector would like to continue for three more years and it is being discussed with the town.”

Some new equipment has been purchased for the volunteers.  Self containing breathing apparatus systems, boots, pagers and turn-outs.  Turnouts cost an average of $2200 a piece and we are trying to minimize the financial impact on the department by budgeting for 3 or 4 sets each year.”

The fire department was present and appreciated at the air show, fall fair and Racing Days parade.  They held a open house for Princeton’s 150 birthday celebration, delivered Christmas hampers, did their usual Halloween safety patrol held an interagency BBQ and swim and participated in a WITS program at John Allison School.  WITS stands for Walk Away, Ignore it, Talk it out, Seek help and was a program the department has been participating in once every two months.

Eric Gregson remains fire chief, Rob Banks is assistant chief and Training Officer, Dan Pippin, John Laursen and Frank Harrison are fire captains, Harold Allison and Kevin Sills are Lieutenants and Rob Hicks has taken over as secretary.

Mayor McLean thanked Gregson on behalf of the community for keeping Princeton safe and again doing a lot above and beyond their duties.


Just Posted

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Gord with a mom and her young son outside Pathways which was defunded on May 31. (Facebook)
Gord Portman with a mom and her child outside of Pathways. The sign says it all about the difference Pathways has made in people’s lives. They were defunded by Interior Health on May 31.
Penticton man takes the plunge for the recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Most Read