By Nancy McLean, a Creston homeowner based in Erickson, BC
This letter is in response to Dave Cockburn’s letter of August 27th re: the fire hall.
As the wife of a former volunteer firefighter who was recognized in 2017 by the Governor General of Canada for 30 years of service, I would like to state that a fire hall is not simply a building of wish lists.
Nowadays, firefighter training protocol requires a significant commitment from the volunteers, (who, by far, make up the bulk of the departments), as it is required that all members throughout the province meet the same standards. This means that it is imperative that volunteers keep and enjoy these positions for years, not just for a few months. This builds an important sense of camaraderie with the members, and this is accomplished when the fire hall is a meeting place and social place where members can spend on-call hours, and do their training and socialize.
Do we want a fire service that is continually scrambling for volunteers? Many people fought hard over the years and dedicated themselves to raising money to have our various fire departments, for the “just in case”. Is the money spent on the building relative to the number of fire calls? Do we want anything but an abundant, dedicated team answering our calls?
I could look around Creston and see many instances where less money could have been spent. Did we need all the extras at the Rec Centre? Did we need the downtown beautification? The reason is that these all add immense quality to our community and make us proud to live here. I feel the same about a fire hall, which attracts and keeps quality women and men.
It’s unfortunate that the original referendum was not passed as we could have an operational new fire hall now, and instead, we are faced with building costs that are going through the roof, which was very predictable.