History

Not much it known about Cowichan Bay Fire Department Pre-1950's as that most of the original members have passed away or have moved, But if anyone out there knows of some pictures or old news paper clippings you can e-mail us at info@cbvfr.com

 

The Cowichan Bay Fire Department (as it was known then) was started in 1947 with an old ARP (Air Raid Protection) unit pump and some lengths of 1½" hose and was stationed out of a local gas station at Cowichan Bay and Wilmont road, the departments first piece of apparatus was a 3 ton Dodge truck purchased from Shell Oil inc. Converted in to the departments first tanker, it carried a 500 gallon water tank and a McCulloch fire pump. The departments first pumper truck was a 1938 Bickles Seagrave purchased from the Oak Bay Fire Department for $2500, the truck was equipped with a 200 gallon tank and a 625 gpm pump and carried 300 feet of 2 1/2 inch hose and 1,000 feet of 2 inch hose.

 

 

The Growing Years: 1963-1976

 

In 1963 the members of the Fire Department realized that they needed a permanent facility, thus they created the Cowichan Bay District Fire Society and started to fund raise for a new facility to house the growing department. On Saturday March 13th 1963 the Cowichan Bay Fire Hall was officially opened by Mrs. Myrna Ricketts who was the president of the Cowichan Bay Ladies Auxiliary. This new hall only 50 by 30' was placed at the corner of Wilmot and Prichard Roads which gave a 4 way access to anywhere in the protection district.

In 1967 Cowichan Bay finally replaced its outdated Bickles Seagrave and replaced it with a 1968 Ford Pumper to be designated Truck 41. This new truck was superior to any other piece of equipment the department had in operation since 1947.

 

1976 brought the department more equipment as it received a brand new 1500 Gallon 1976 Ford cab-over tanker truck to be designated Truck 42, this truck was equipped with a Briggs & Stratton portable pump, two 1000 gallon drop tanks, and two 2" hard suction hoses.
 

 

 

 

The New Era: 1976 – 1990

 

By the 1970's the Fire Department realized that it needed a new hall. With a new truck arriving soon the department would not have room for its 4 piece's of apparatus. The departments response area had grown by 7 times its original size and covered over 64 square miles, thus they started a new campaign for a new hall and in 1979 the New Cowichan Bay Fire Hall was officially opened. The new hall, which was strategically place on the Trans-Canada-Hwy and Wilmot road in the center of the response area and is still in use today. Along with the new hall came a 1977 International Hub Fire Engine designated Truck 44, this truck is now in use by the Nitnat Fire Department.

The hall currently houses the departments 8 pieces of apparatus in a 6 bay fire hall and 2 bay satellite hall directly behind the hall. The current hall also has many more facility's than the old station such as Chief offices, Equipment Officer's area, radio room, equipment storage, training rooms,  various games, banquet hall and a full service kitchen.
 

Into the New Millennium: 1991 – Current

 

The 1990's was the largest growth for the department, they officially changed their name to Cowichan Bay Fire Rescue to accommodate the new mandate, they not only fought fires anymore, they performed Rescues, Medical Response and many other services. The departments growth was substantial a New Heavy Rescue, CAF (Compresses Air Foam) Unit, Fire Boat and a New Pumper Truck. In 2001 the department had it most productive year of all time as it had record responses, received a new rapid response truck, boat trailer and a new E-one Pumper Truck.