OUR VIEW: Community at heart of SVFD

Come out, line the streets and let these dedicated volunteers know their service is valued by the community

Community could be defined in simple terms as a group of people coming together for a common benefit. That’s a pretty basic outline and when you apply it to a bunch of dedicated individuals, the term takes on a deeper meaning.

This weekend, the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department celebrates its 100th anniversary. It was in 1914 that the original Sidney Fire Brigade formed with the steely resolve to help protect the residents and businesses in town from the calamity of fire.

Times may have changed since those early years — equipment, training standards, the integration of male and female firefighters and volunteer numbers — but one thing remains true about the fire department: its sense of community.

In working with the firefighters, current and retired, for its 100th anniversary special section this week (it came out in Wednesday’s PNR – find it now at www.peninsulanewsreview.com under e-editions) we found out just how tight-knit they are. As well, many put in a lot of extra time — that’s volunteer time — to better their skills, raise money for a variety of good causes and help out others in the community. Yes, firefighters are a unique group of people whose ranks can sometimes be at arms length from the general public, but nearly all of the men and women we spoke to know of their responsibility in their home town and to their neighbours. And responding to fire and accident calls is only the beginning.

This weekend, they get to celebrate all of that and more. Their gala dinner event at the Mary Winspear is an invitation-only affair where they can let their hair down a bit. On Saturday, everyone is invited to the morning’s fire truck parade down Beacon Avenue and a show and shine to follow at the fire hall.

Come out, line the streets and let these dedicated volunteers know their service is valued by the community.