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East Sooke fire department open house features summer safety on the water

This year's open house at the East Sooke Fire Department features a special guest who's all about ensuring everyone has a safe summer while having fun in and on the water.
Bobby the Safety Boat will be at the East Sooke Fire Department's open house on Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue/Contributed)

This year's open house at the East Sooke Fire Department features a special guest who's all about ensuring everyone has a safe summer while having fun in and on the water.

Personnel from Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue will be on hand with Bobbie the Safety Boat, a remote-controlled robot that interacts with kids and adults to teach them about boating and water safety, said Sonia Lambert, a volunteer firefighter with the East Sooke Fire Department for the past 25 years.

The event will include the usual activities such as various demonstrations by volunteer firefighters, bouncy castles, the opportunity to squirt fire hoses at targets for the kids, a Capital Regional District Parks information booth, and a free barbecue lunch and snacks.

The open house takes place Saturday (July 13) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the East Sooke Fire Department Hall at 6071 East Sooke Rd., with plenty of parking available across the street.

"We are a lively close knit crew of dedicated volunteers who together put in thousands of hours a year," Lambert said. "Like all small volunteer departments, we are always looking for volunteers. The more personnel that we have, the easier it becomes on all of us."

Many of the skills volunteers learn, such as small engine safety, proper use of chainsaws, portable pumps, tools, and equipment, teaching FireSmart programs,  running public awareness events, and what to do in a first aid emergency, pertain to everyday living, Lambert noted.

"We do joint training with other groups as well," Lambert said. "We recently spent a day with Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue in a joint exercise doing a high rope rescue from a cliff and lowering a theoretically injured person down to the boat."

Those interested in finding out more about becoming a volunteer can email, or call the non-emergency line at 250-642-4411.

"We know that our volunteers make a difference in people's lives," Lambert noted.

The department, which was formed in the late 1985, moved into its new building in 2015.

About the Author: Rick Stiebel

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