The Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade meets on Tuesdays evenings for training, and sometimes pizza, at the community’s Fire Hall on Peninsula. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade calls for new recruits

Ucluelet fire chief Ted Eeftink prepares for retirement after 25 years of service.

With two members leaving the team this year, Juliet Van Vliet and Robert Costley, the Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade (UVFB) is on the lookout for a few new recruits.

From free divers and schoolteachers to electricians, plumbers, and tow truck drivers, deputy chief Mark Fortune says they’ll take everybody.

“Everybody in this room has a different skill set that they are very good at and have found a niche within the fire service,” said Fortune, who has been supporting the community as a firefighter for 19 years.

“It’d be good to get some more females involved,” chief Eeftink adds. “We’re always happy to have more ladies join for sure.”

The roster is currently down to 20 members, and Eeftink would like to see that number grow to between 25 and 30.

“In a stressful situation when the chips are down, [the Brigade] really pulls together. It’s a great team to work with,” notes Fortune.

The District of Ucluelet pays for all the first aid training for joiners of the UVFB. In addition to the medical component, members learn how to use the rescue tools that cut cars open and how to wrangle large diameter water hoses.

“You get a lot of training basically free of charge,” said Fortune. “The training is also recognized B.C. wide. It’s totally transferable to a full-time position to say in Vancouver Fire or Victoria Fire. We’re being trained at the same level as major fire services.”

Eeftink thinks the UVFB is in a better place than they ever used to be with all the training.

“It seems like we are on top of things just being with first responders now and just being more integrated with that part of it. You know, we don’t do a lot of fires now. I think the guys are liking what they are seeing,” he said.

With the exception of a couple fatal incidents the UVFB responded to alongside the RCMP over the summer, Fortune said it’s been a relatively quiet year.

“We’re lucky out here because we are in the fog zone. We had some beach fires, but we never really had forest interface issues that everyone else in the province has had,” said Fortune.

READ: Fire kills woman and two dogs near Ucluelet

READ: Truck catches fire between Tofino and Ucluelet

The rescue truck received $20,000 worth of safety and light upgrades, plus a new thermo imaging camera was added to the teams’ emergency kit.

After serving nine years as the fire chief, Eeftink said he’s looking forward to spending more time with his grandkids and travelling.

“By the end of this year, Dec. 30, I’m finished as the chief. I’m going to stand on until they find somebody, which might go until March,” Eeftink told the Westerly.

Fortune egged the chief on.

“We’re going to keep him around. He’s not going to get off that easy.”

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the UVFB is encouraged to stop by the District of Ucluelet office for an application. Submissions are due by 4p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15.

Just Posted

Strong winds expected to hit north, west Vancouver Island: Environment Canada

Environment Canada said southeast winds will reach speeds of 70 to 90 kilometres per hour

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

Property assessments to rise again on Vancouver Island

Some areas could see their assessments spike as much as 20 per cent

Wet snow, rain expected on Vancouver Island this weekend

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement on Dec. 7

Tofino’s Crystal Cove and Ocean Outfitters win Vancouver Island EcoStar Awards for green steps

“Tourism is a privilege and our organization takes our ecological footprint seriously.”

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Most Read