Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)

Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

In the name of inclusivity, Oak Bay is changing the name of Fireman’s Park to Firefighter’s Park.

The term fireman has long been abandoned amongst firefighting organizations in Canada and it was only a matter of time for the park, noted said Oak Bay Fire Chief Darren Hughes.

“It’s one of those changes that’s come. The fire services is an old organization and this is a positive change,” Hughes said.

Council approved the name change three years ago but it took a while to actualize. Hughes and company took the old sign down on Friday.

READ ALSO: Bonfire at Fireman’s Park in Oak Bay ‘every kid’s dream’

The cost of the new sign is being shared by the Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation, Oak Bay Fire Department and Oak Bay Park who ordered the new sign that should be ready to install in a few weeks, Hughes said.

There are actually two elements to the name change, Hughes said. One is inclusivity. The other is that while the term fireman has long been applied to firefighters it actually had its own definition.

“My grandfather was a fireman on a ship, an actual fireman that shoveled coal into the fire to feed the boiler. Fireman was also conventionally used in children’s books and literature for firefighters, but that’s what it meant to be a fireman for my grandfather, and he would often point that out,” Hughes said.

READ MORE: Oak Bay Fire’s newest charity executive

The Oak Bay Fire Department does not have a woman firefighter yet though it does have two women on staff, Eileen Grant, the Emergency Program Manager, and an administrative assistant.

It’s not for a lack trying, Hughes said. In Oak Bay Fire Department’s last hiring wave, which is done jointly with Esquimalt Fire Department, there were 100 applicants who wrote the entry exams. Only one was a woman.

“Recruitment is a challenge. It’s on the radar for the next round. We’re certainly looking into why the applicants are low… to identify what those reasons are. We have a welcome environment,” Hughes said.

Firefighter’s Park has a long tradition as a popular playground and as the home of youth baseball. It is also home to one of Oak Bay’s most popular annual events, when the firefighters set light to a massive bonfire and let children take turns spending the night putting the fire out with a fire hose.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke plans to begin construction of the $4.9-million Church Road corridor project this summer. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke hopes to start Church Road Corridor project this summer

Road upgrade includes a roundabout, sidewalks, bike lanes and boulevards

The site of the proposed rental housing development at 2197 Otter Point Rd. (District of Sooke)
District of Sooke approves development with 77 rental units

New parking lot for John Phillips Memorial Park included in project

Traffic is backed up due to a crash on Highway 1. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)
Traffic backs up on Highway 1 westbound in View Royal after crash

First responders are reportedly on the scene in View Royal

Police are looking for the driver of this truck after it nearly hit a group of kids in Esquimalt on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Police)
Victoria police looking for driver of truck that nearly missed kids before crashing in Esquimalt

The truck’s driver, a man, fled the scene after the truck crashed into a house’s fence

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Driver stopped on Pat Bay Highway after road rage reports fails breathalyzer test: police

Several witnesses reported driver to Saanich police, school officer intercepted

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read