It's been a long time coming, but the Lake of Bays Volunteer Fire Deparment now has a dedicated fireboat. Christened "In Response" at the Firefest celebration on Saturday, this boat carries a water cannon, sonar, radar, lifesaving equipment, and enough flashing lights and bells and whistles to make everyone happy.
The need for a fireboat was underlined over the years by fires on both Haystack and Fire Islands, by a fire set by careless campers on the Ross Boothby Conservation Heritage property, and by various boat accidents, including one rather dramatic incident where the boat caught fire shortly after pulling away from the marina -- no lives were lost in these particular incidents, but the firefighters were hampered by having to fight the fires from their personal boats -- some pontoon boats, a ski boat, whatever they could get their hands on quickly. In Response will allow these great volunteers to respond quickly to accidents and fires on the water, along the shoreline, and in areas that are much slower to reach by road than they are by lake.
Money for this boat has been raised entirely by donations -- gosh, the girls and guy on that committee are sensational -- and they have about $50,000 still to raise to completely equip the boat.
The christening ceremony at Dwight Beach, prior to the fireworks, began with piper Glen Brownlee leading down the dignitaries, short speeches by Tony Clement, MP, and Janet Peake, Mayor, as well as a prayer by Tom Brown.
One of the volunteer Fire Halls is located on BONDI property, just up the road from the resort -- our father Paul was a long time member of the fire department, as was Brian, until he had to leave for medical reasons, and every time we hear the siren, we give thanks that we've got such dedicated volunteers who'll drop everything they're doing to go and help.
Pictures: Piper Glen Brownlee
Tom Brown reads the Christening prayer,
The water cannon soaks swimmers.
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