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The Qualicum Volunteer Fire Brigade

Ed is my Dad’s friend.   He was a member of the above fire responder group – the raw stuff of citizenship. We forget that the folks who respond to emergency are real people – in rural B C, and Alberta – unpaid .   Ordinary members of the community who respond to the call for volunteers and —- well, you can read what’s involved.
Ed is over 70. When he signed up – a little younger than 70 then – there were only 8 on the roster. First event, he gets the call and gets into his gear – a little short on training, which they all do a ton of. But there’s nobody – that is, without survival tanks on – to drive the fire truck. Ed had driven for Brewster tours many years ago – good enough! The usualls have all got their tanks on to go into the fire. This will have to do…
Ed gets into the unit and hunts around. The “public” is watching. Ed can’t find the gearshift. He looks on the floor. Looks on the steering column. Yells outside at the chief. “Where’s the gearshift?” The Chief points to the sky. Ed looks up. P N D R L. On the panel above his head. Away we go!
I told Ed I’d been walking the dog down on Kincade Road. He regaled us with a tale from Flamingo Road, just around the corner.
The Brigade arrives to find the house fully involved – eg. in flames. There’s the sound of a woman screaming. The senior hand – a guy of 50 – an ordinary member of the community just like Ed – or you or me – gets suited up with fire retardant outfit and tanks on. His companion is a 35 year old woman from town.
They walk into the fire to get the woman. They provide more scan: the woman hanging onto the belt of the man. That way they can get more area coverage.   As they go forward up the stairs and into the bedroom, the flames are raging but they’re trying to reach the woman. At some point, the companion woman has to drop off. The guy is on his own, feeling out the room as he ventures forward in extreme heat.
He feels an arm. He grabs. He pulls. Whatever it is, comes. He gathers her in, lifts her up and fumbles down the stairs. Behind him the upstairs floor collapses in the conflagration..
She [and he] make it. They both survive. The house is demolished.
Meanwhile, somehow it is determined that the woman was being stalked. Quick investigation leads the police to an apartment in Nanaimo. As the door is broken down, the occupant jumps from the balcony. 6 floors. Into a birdbath. He, too, survives. Apparently, he was an old boyfriend who hacked the woman’s arm with a machete [no, her arm remained attached] and then set fire to the place.
That all happened on Flamingo Road.
Another day on the Qualicum Beach Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

What’s Our Business?

Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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