Letters: Above and beyond

Shirley fire chief lauded for dedication and commitment

I am writing this letter to express my gratitude to Chief Donovan Ray of the Shirley Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD).  As wife of the captain, who has been on the SVFD for close to 10 years and Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department preceding that, I have seen the fire department go through some big changes over the last little while.

There was a time not long ago when there seemed to be nobody willing to fulfill the duties as chief, and hence there was some worry over the future existence of the SVFD.  Thankfully, competent Rob VanVeen stepped up to the task, but with over 20 years of volunteer service to the fire department, I believe he was hoping he could pass the torch on to someone young and keen.

I breathed an audible sigh of relief when Donovan joined the fire department.  It was immediately clear that Donovan was willing, determined, committed and qualified to lead the SVFD ahead.  His integrity in being physically, mentally and emotionally on call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, has soared above and beyond what is required.

I know from my husband that fire practises are intense and demanding… as are the calls that our volunteers are responding to.

When someone has stepped up to the plate for the safety of Shirley and its visitors, devoted unimaginable time to preparing, organizing and running weekly practises, handling administrative duties, organizing extra-training and made himself available 24/7 while still working full time and being a devoted partner, I believe they deserve heaps of support from the community.

I am a mother of two young children. We live an hour’s drive from the closest hospital and 20 minutes drive from the nearest ambulance. If there is an emergency, and time is of the essence, our survival is dependent upon the health and integrity of our SVFD.

In my time in Shirley, I have never felt as confident in the SVFD and its Chief Donovan, as I do today.  The level of devotion our chief has shown is truly inspiring and makes me feel confident as a mother that if an emergency were to arise, we would have some of the best responding to us, long before anyone else could get to our rural home.  As a proud Shirley resident and mother, I would like to say thank-you to Chief Donovan and I truly hope he will remain Shirley’s chief for many years to come.

Shirley resident and mother.

Amanda Swinimer-Burley

Shirley

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

Just Posted

Work begins on Otter Point Road project in Sooke

The project now has a fall completion date following a long delay

First Nation dispute closes part of school parking lot in Sooke

T’Sou-ke’s George family now in negotiation with School District

Life complicated when water not secure

Water issues have real-life impacts in Sooke Region

North Saanich’s Deep Cove Market up for sale for almost $1.8 million

Long-time owner Rosemary Scott hopes the public will understand her decision

Saanich dog walkers react to potential review of bylaws allowing off-leash dogs on beaches

Focus should have remained on migratory birds, not on dog behaviour, says Cadboro Bay dog walker

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read