History 1975 – 1980

OPVFD Historical Time Line

1975 – 1980

75/Aug Fire completely destroyed a house on Otter Point road leaving a family of 5 homeless. Afterwards a meeting was held in a local residence to discuss the possibility of creating a fire fighting group. This provided the impetus to start fire protection in the area.
75/Sept The new fire protection group names executive and officers. Cliff Beange elected fire chief and Al Ruttan as deputy chief. A new society to be formed with Barry Murphy, Mable Beange and Joe Zigay as directors.
76/Jan The Otter District Home Fire Protection Society (ODHFPS) was registered. It was to cover an area roughly along Otter Point road from Young Lake road to just west of Kemp Lake road and northward but not including Kemp Lake road itself.
76/Mar In the meantime, residents of Kemp Lake Water Works district, located on the lower end of Kemp Lake road and along West Coast road started discussing fire protection in their area. This service was included in the Letters Patent of the water district if they had so wish to provide it. Some research and information gathering is to take place.
76/Aug The ODHFPS start looking at its first truck, a 1956 Dodge flat deck that will carry donated equipment, used hoses, pumps tanks and other items. A telephone list is being complied as a method of contacting members of the association in the event of an emergency. Cliff Beange is president of the society.
77/Sept After a year of apathy, a new executive of the society is elected and the organization is back in action. Jim McCormick, president, Ken Pearse, secretary; Allyne Springford, treasurer; George Munro and Omar Robertson, directors.
77/Oct Finally, the first truck is in service, the modified 1956 Dodge flat deck mentioned the year before. It carries a 250 gallon water tank, 3 portable pumps and cabinets for hoses and other equipment. (See Pictures)
77/Nov House fire on West Coast, just west of Kemp Lake road claims the life of 1 person, as another person escapes. This area still does not have fire protection. Two Sooke Firemen responded with a portable pump and some hose, as well as one member of the ODHFP responded with a couple of portable pumps.Later in the month, the monthly meeting of the ODHFP society was well attended by 26 people.
77/Dec Another fire destroys one of the oldest houses on Otter Point road. Eight men from the ODHFPS and 4 local neighbours. The societies truck which is currently being modified was unable to get out of its temporary work area. Although there was a large turn out at the November meeting after last month’s fire, only 7 people turned up for the December meeting.
78/Jan Boundaries set: From Sooke Fire District along Otter Point road west to King Creek, Kemp Lake road at Otter Point road south to and including Milligan road area, and all roads north of Otter Point road. The annual dues are set at $35 per year.
78/Mar Residents of Kemp Lake Water Works district discuss splitting fire protection away from water service. Trustees of district to determine and take whatever steps necessary to split fire protection service from the water service.
78/May ODHFPS acquires another fire truck. A 1949 International fire truck from Woss Lake with the motor and running gear of 1970 Chevrolet. This truck has an 800 gallon tank and a 250 gpm pump. (See Pictures)
78/Sept ODHFPS Annual Meeting, new executive: David O’Flynn, president; Ken Pearse, secretary; Allyne Springford, treasurer; Ross Dawson and Roy Kennedy, directors; Kevan Brehart, fire chief. George Munro has been appointed as deputy chief. The annual dues raised to $50.
79/Mar Kemp Lake Water Works agrees to give up fire protection if ODHFPS gives up society and the areas jointly form a local improvement district. ODHFPS agrees at it’s March meeting, and votes to immediately expand its coverage to include the KLWW district from the Sooke Fire district boundary on West Coast road westward to Tugwell Creek.
79/Sept Referendum set for Nov 17, eligible voters number 350.
79/Nov Referendum passes 157 yes, 22 no.
79/Dec First board of trustees for new fire district elected at a public meeting. The trustees are: Terry Kuiack, Jim McCormick, Roy Kennedy, Cliff Beange, Jack Hawes, John Farmer. At a later meeting of the new trustees, John Farmer was elected chairman. The Otter Point Fire District officially comes into existence on January 1, 1980.