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.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

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

Metchosin ecologist Andy MacKinnon is raising alarm bells for arbutus trees, as many are falling victim to a fungus called leaf blights. The leaves and branches of the trees are turning brown or black and then dropping off, eventually killing them. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
Vancouver Island arbutus trees fighting for survival against parasites

Many trees weakened, turning black or brown and dying, says local ecologist

Applied theatre researcher Dennis Gupa wearing a traditional Filipino malong at a local beach in Victoria. (Credit: John Threlfall)
UVic researcher uses theatre to empower marginalized voices, fight climate change

Dennis Gupa looks to create new modes of expression, knowledge sharing

Sooke resident Lesa Cro started up a new pet waste removal business. Cro goes to yards in the region, removes all of the waste and then composts it, so that it doesn’t go into landfills. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
New pet poop-scooping business picks up in Sooke

Poop No More service taking the ‘dirty work’ out of lawn cleaning

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, is the Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. (Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos)
Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read