Columns: Time to thank firefighters

Our protective services personnel routinely place themselves in danger for the sake of helping others

Our protective services personnel routinely place themselves in danger for the sake of helping others. They dedicate themselves to preventing or minimizing injury or harm to those in distress and mitigating or preventing damage to property and the environment.

During Fire Prevention Week, which runs throughout North America from Oct. 9-15 this year, I am reminded especially of the debt of gratitude we owe to the firefighters who work to educate us about fire risk, and protect us and our property when fire does break out. In smaller communities especially, where so many of us rely on the goodness and courage of volunteer fire departments, it is important to remember the importance of their contribution to our communities.

In our region, those who sign on with our local volunteer fire departments offer up so much more than their time when they agree to serve. They willingly make themselves available at a moment’s notice to respond to an emergency, and agree to put themselves at risk for the sake of their community.

One of the ways we can show our gratitude to the women and men who so generously agree to provide protection against fire is to do our part to prevent fires.

This year marks the final year in a three-year campaign to raise awareness of the importance of smoke alarms during Fire Prevention Week, and to remind us that they need to be replaced every ten years.

I encourage each of you to take the time this week to show your appreciation to our firefighters, especially our volunteers, and remember to check the manufacture dates on the back of your smoke alarms. It’s also a great time to develop a fire-response plan with your family.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week and how you can take part, visit http://www.nfpa.org/index.asp.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at my constituency office at 250-991-0296 (toll free at 1-866-991-0296).

Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. Contact MLA Oakes’ constituency office: Phone: 250-991-0296; Email: coralee.oakes.mla@leg.bc.ca.

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