sooke news mirror, february 11, 2015

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February 11, 2015 edition of the Sooke News Mirror


  • C O M M U N I T Y N E W S M E D I A

    Black PressWednesday, February 11, 2015Agreement#40110541

    Editorial Page 9

    Community Page 15

    Sports/stats Page 36

    40 pages in one section

    CAMP BARNARD70 years of

    memories for campers.

    Page 15

    7x2.5oliver katz


    Agreements crucial for fire fightingMutual aid necessary in rural communitiesOctavian LacatusuSooke News Mirror

    During the mid-night hours of Tues-day, February 3, 2015, neighbours could hear explosions going off just across the street up in Otter Point; the aftermath of a fire that caught and spread quickly through a local workshop.

    Several fire crews arrived on scene - from Sooke, Otter Point, East Sooke and Metchosin - the flames had engulfed the structure, blowing its roof off and consum-ing its walls from inside out. Despite their hard-est efforts to save it however, it was too late.

    With the nearest water hydrant being some 2.5 km away from that location, some cant help but wonder: was it a water issue?

    No, there was plenty of water available in dealing with this par-ticular fire, says Otter Point Fire Captain John McCrea, who says the use of tenders - big semi-trucks with a mas-sive water tank in the back - have been suffi-cient for most fire emer-gencies in the area.

    Tenders vary in size,

    though the more rural the region, the bigger they are likely to be; for example, Otter Point FDs current tender truck can carry up to 2,200 gallons of water, while Sookes tender holds 1,400 gallons.

    We already know where the areas are that have no hydrant, so we have a really good tender-shuttle system in place to make sure we always have water, he said. All our mutual-aid partners are involved in that, so if we have a structure fire or sooke has a structure fire in a non-hydranted area, tenders come in partic-ularly handy.

    According to McCrae, after the flames were

    put out Tuesday night, two tenders were actu-ally sent back to their stations - in other words, there was too much water.

    Still, always good to have that extra help than not have it at all, notes McCrae.

    The idea is to get as much manpower and equipment there as quick as possible, he said. If you dont need it, its not a huge issue to stand them down, but at least you have the resources coming right away.

    Sooke Fire Chief Steve Sorensen says adding extra tenders is all fire departments can do at this point to stay prepared; that, and mutual-aid/automatic-

    aid agreements. Mutual aid is we

    have a fire in Sooke, I need your help, call Otter Point, I need a tender, an engine, what-ever. Automatic aid is when its pre-estab-lished what you want for certain types of calls, Sorensen said.

    Direct water access via hydrants remains an issue however; one that, according to Sorensen, wont be resolved anytime soon.

    Right now theres no appetite to develop in rural areas, nor is there any capacity because the sewers dont go that way, which hydrants hinge on to work, he said. For us it is all about strong mutual aid agreements

    and calling in tenders.The luxury of piped

    city water has to end somewhere though, notes CRD regional director Mike Hicks.

    Thats a reality of rural living. The costs of extending the water line to Otter Point or Shirley would be tens of millions of dollars - theres no one around to be able to pay it, he said, adding that most water lines are extended when theres a big development going on.

    In this case, also unlikely.

    There are no big developments in Otter Point, and probably there never will be, because the OCP (Offi-cial Community Plan) they want to keep that are rural, Hicks said.

    Places such as Jordan River dont even have fire service in the area, however the extent of coverage and efficiency for neighbouring fire departments is likely to change.

    According to Hicks, Shirleys fire depart-ment is in the process of putting in a water tank that can hold tens of thousands of water right beside their fire hall. In addition to that, they will also be installing a pressur-ized hydrant that will allow tender trucks to hook up and refill very quickly.

    Octavian Lacatusu photo

    Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department utilizes a large tender truck with a capac-ity of 2,200 gallons of water.

    Classifieds 25 75

    RCMP officers first to aid stricken manPirjo RaitsSooke News Mirror

    What could have been a tragedy turned out to be a good news story, thanks to an alert tenant, two RCMP officers and the fire department.

    On Friday, February 6 at about 10 a.m. a smoke alarm alerted a tenant on Govenlock Place to call 9.1.1. The first people to attend to the call were two RCMP officers, Const. Sean Heidman and Cpl. Joe Holmes and Fire Chief Steve Sorensen.

    Const. Heidman tried to get into the upstairs of the home but the sliding glass door was locked, so he got a sledge hammer from his cruiser and broke in. The house was full of smoke from a burning pot on the stove and an semi-unconcious man was laying on the floor. The RCMP grabbed the man by the wrist and pulled him to safety on the deck.

    The unidentified man had suffered some sort of medical condition.

    Sorensen, who arrived just as the officers did, said they spent quite a bit of time with the man accessing his condition, giving him oxygen and waiting for the ambulance crew to arrive.

    He passed out from a medicall consdition and the pot caught on fire. He was lucky the tenant was home and the smoke alarms worked, said Sorensen.

    There was no one else in the home at the time.Staff Sargeant Jeff McArthur has praise for the

    two officers on the scene. They suffered a little smoke inhalation but

    theyre fine, said McArthur. It was pretty good performance thats for sure.

    It is not known the condition of the elderly man, but McArthur said he thinks he is okay.

    Sorensen reminds people to check their smoke alarms to ensure they are working and that mul-tiple alarms in a home are connected.

    In this case the tenant knew something was going on, said Sorensen.

    Smoke alarms and visible addresses are crucial to safety and for emergency crews to aid residents when necessary, said Sorensen.


    Sooke is Selling!2014 Sooke Home Sales: 3002015 Sooke Home Sales: 19TAMMI DIMOCK

    Personal Real Estate Corp.

    5770 SIASONG ROAD SASEESNO $379,900


    B-427 GAMBLE PLACE SOLD $349,900


    OLIVER KATZ Personal Real Estate Corporation

    250 642 6480

    2510 WATLING WAY SUNRIVER $489,900








  • Fix your pet

    Low income and need your pet spayed/neutered?

    The Victoria Cat Rescue Corps has an annual spay/neuter blitz starting Febru-ary 16 for a limited time. They will pay the full cost of spay or neuter procedures for cats belonging to low-income pet owners, and will take stray cats too.

    Call 250 656-1100 or visit their site:

    Learn to pitch shoes

    And from Sookes new Horseshoe Pitch-ing Association:

    Just to let every-one - from 10-years-old to 95 - know that the association will be cre-ating a group to teach and learn the art of throwing horseshoes in Sooke, with the start of the construction of horseshoe courts in the coming weeks.

    They hope to be playing horseshoes this summer at the location on Sooke River Road, across from Fred Milne Park. At this time, they are looking for volun-teers to help in getting this off the ground. If you would like to help or know of anybody, family, grandchild or friend, please feel free to contact Rick Hobday. His phone number is 250-642-7657, or email

    They are particularly interested in young people to become the future horseshoe play-ers of Sooke.

    Nominate a great

    buisnessSooke Region Cham-

    ber of Commerce is now accepting nomina-tions for the Business Excellence Awards.

    The gala takes place on April 11 at the Pres-tige Hotel ballroom and will feature a cock-tail reception, dinner and awards ceremony. Included as well will be a silent and live auction. This is a fundraiser for the SRCC.New this year

    is a Peoples Choice Award where attendees vote for their favorite nominee.

    Everyone is welcome and you do not have to be a chamber member to participate in the voting or the awards ceremony.

    To nominate a busi-ness or individual go to the chamber website at:

    All businesses in the Sooke region are eligible for awards. Judging will be carried out by com-munity members not affiliated with the SRCC. The award categories are: Professional Ser-vices Excellence, Retail and Services Excel-lence, Manufacturing and Industry Excellence, Dining and Hospitality Excellence, Sustainabil-

    ity Leadership Excel-lence, Home Based Busi-ness Excellence, Not-for-Profit Organization Excellence, New Busi-ness of the Year Excel-lence, Business of the Year Excellence.

    Deadline for submis-sion is March 2, 2015.

    What is Babytime?

    Babytime takes place at the Sooke