Cherry Creek Fire Department Chief Mike Sparrow dons an antique turnout coat and helmet and shows off a gas mask; all artifacts that will be on display this Saturday

Alberni’s Cherry Creek Fire Department turns 50 years old

The Cherry Creek Volunteer Fire Department answered its first call on July 27, 1962 and turns half a century old this week.

The Cherry Creek Volunteer Fire Department answered its first call on July 27, 1962. It was one of less than a dozen that the newly formed department handled, under the direction of fire Chief Charlie Haggard.

Fifty years later, Haggard has passed on, the department’s fleet has grown to four trucks, and its volunteers respond to roughly 80 calls a year.

This weekend, the department celebrates a half-century of serving the Cherry Creek community.

The public is welcome to come and help celebrate at an open house this Saturday, July 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the corner of Cherry Creek Road and Moore Road.

There will be free food,  a mock-up fire house that kids can shoot water at, games, displays and demonstrations.

Festivities also include a private, invitation-only banquet that evening for members.

The department received $2,000 from the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to pay for its celebration.

While the fire department still operates out of its original building, and the siren atop the building is still put to use, firefighters have seen some significant changes since it started, present Chief Mike Sparrow said.

In 1962 the department owned just four sets of turnout gear, and it was heavy. A fireman’s helmet cost $6.95.

“They’re about $80 now,” he said.

It costs approximately $4,000 to outfit one firefighter, and all 24 or so have their own gear.

Another big change is who qualifies as a volunteer. “Originally you had to be a married male with property,” he said.

“Now, you can be female, you can be single. Times have changed.”

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

ARTS AROUND: Port Alberni artists showcase a range of mediums

“Into the Forest” will feature everything from watercolours to quilting

Divers explore the deeps of Sproat Lake using vintage equipment

Heritage Hard Hat Divers will have a maritime heritage exhibit in Port Alberni

EDITORIAL: In face of tough week, Port Alberni first responders deserve our respect

Last week was a difficult week for first responders in the Alberni Valley…

Alberni group focuses on stigmatization as biggest barrier to opioid crisis

Community session planned to raise dialogue on opioid crisis response

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Man pulls over to help injured owl, gets hit by SUV

Chase RCMP say owl flew away while they were on scene

New food guide addresses ‘elephant’ in the room – alcohol

Experts welcomed the tougher stance on an issue they say demands a co-ordinated strategy

Cannabis sales up 25% in November as overall retail sales fall 0.9%

Cannabis store sales totalled $54 million in the first full month of legal recreational pot sales

LNG Canada support far outweighs protests, CEO says

Andy Calitz vows completion on schedule at B.C. Natural Resource Forum

B.C. Green Party leader calls for Assistant Deputy Speaker to step aside

Weaver alleges whistleblower was fired after looking into the Liberal MLA’s expenses

Most Read