On Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 at 7 p.m., our own Sooke Volunteer Fire Department, (i.e. through an advertised invitation to the public), held a “dedication ceremony” to officially welcome their newest fire truck into the fold while at the same time retiring their oldest outdated fire truck #204.
This event was wonderfully officiated by Sooke Fire Department Chaplin Gordon Kouwenberg, which included a prayer, the symbolic transferring of the water from the old truck into the new truck, a spraying down of the new truck, and then everyone in attendance helped roll the new truck into it’s stall in the firehall. Finally a toast was made to the new truck, and to the dedicated volunteers who operate them, with snacks to follow.
So who attended this special event? Well there was of course Fire Chief Steve Sorensen, his Deputy Fire Chief Rick McLoud, (both in their formal attire), and former fire chief Bill Stevenson, (1957 – 62 and 1976 – 77). Also in attendance were 28 volunteer Sooke firefighters, both male and female, all in their firefighting gear, including two of their newest recruits. Oh yes, there was also myself representing Sooke Emergency Social Services.
So who wasn’t in attendance? Not the mayor, nor a single member of the reigning council of the day, nor any of those new members running for council. There were no media people there, and not one other member of the general public showed up. What a disappointment.
Where was the support for our dedicated firefighters who put in hundreds of hours of training, and risk their lives for all the residents of Sooke?
Where was the support for the dedication of the newest fire truck that will substantially improve the fire fighting capacity of our fire department for this community for years to come?
What if you were in need of their life saving services… and no one showed up?