On Oct. 8 there was a town meeting at the Vavenby Community Hall for all those within the fire protection area. The meeting was to inform residents that the fire department does not have enough trained volunteers and it was a recruiting drive to get more interest involved. Thompson Nicola Regional District ( TNRD ) Area A representative Carol Schaffer opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. and thanked everyone for coming. She introduced the head table. Two men were from Kamloops and the rest were the fire hall committee. The two men from Kamloops, who worked for the TNRD services, were there to let everyone know what was involved in a fire department’s standards, the least number of volunteers needed, and their training.
Jason Tomlin, TNRD Emergency Services Supervisor, spoke first. He explained that there was a minimum number of trained volunteers required and the training program is through what is called a play book.
Tomlin also talked about insurance companies and how they base what a home owner pays on the number of trained volunteers the fire department has. Vavenby has been given a year to meet standards and then it will be reviewed.
Ron Storie, TNRD Director of Community Services from Kamloops, spoke next. He put the awareness out of what’s happening and how everyone needs to get together. He fleshed out Tomlin’s statements and gave suggestions of what to do. In answer to a question on how to get young people to join it was mentioned that being a volunteer fire fighter is an asset on a resume.
At the end of the meeting Storie gave a recap of what to do, based on questions asked. He suggested the following points:
1. Vavenby and Clearwater fire chiefs talk face to face to see about Clearwater volunteer firefighters who work at the Canfor Mill working for the Vavenby fire department as well.
2. Send out a letter of information
3. Make the letter coordinate with the next meeting
Willow McDonald, TNRD representative for Area B was present. She said that Blue River had had the same problem. The town got together and are now up to standard.
Good questions were asked throughout the meeting. One of the important ones was how to get the young people to join. There was a lot of discussion about the mill and why can’t / don’t Clearwater workers add to the volunteers in Vavenby if they are volunteers in Clearwater. That question was answered of what to do in the recap.
Questions were answered by Tomlin and Storie. They sometimes referred a question to Sean Dawson retired fire chief for Vavenby, who would be more qualified to answer it. It was a very informative evening and well attended.
Water main break
The break in the main line at Don Pickerell’s yard on Sept. 28 allowed sand and gravel to travel through the line and plug the water service at Villy Johnson’s household line. He had little water and no pressure.
TNRD Water Utilities Services Tina Hewlett for Vavenby and Ken Nystoruk from Kamloops, and Quality Contractors from Barriere came to test the problem. They decided to dig and found the problem, cut out the plugged area, and replaced it with a proper water line which was approximately two feet long.
There is a skunk in town. One family has had their two dogs sprayed three times. Keep an eye out for this smelly animal.