Penticton residents have an opportunity to celebrate those who have been protecting the city’s citizens and property for the past century.
The Penticton Fire Department will be celebrating its 100th anniversary on Saturday at the fire hall at 250 Nanaimo Ave. W. from 8 a.m. to noon.
The Penticton Museum and Archives will be displaying photos and stories illustrating past emergencies, firefighting equipment and people that have been a part of the department for the past 100 years.
In the foyer, there will be a section that has simulated flames along with the sound of sirens.
“We wanted to make it really interactive and family-friendly,” said Liz Wilson, Penticton Fire Department operations assistant, who has been working closely with Peter Ord and Darryl Pace of the Penticton Museum and Archives throughout the development of the project.
“It’s a combination of history and education and celebrating the services and people that have been involved,” said Wilson. “I’ve talked to people who have relatives that were involved … I’m really finding this amazing connection to first years of the department, and to get this kind of information now is so highly valuable because we wont be able to get it later, it’s starting to get hard to find (first and second-hand accounts) from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s.”
In the past 100 years, the Penticton Fire Department has grown from just a few volunteers in 1911 to 42 members and 40 auxiliary.
Wilson said as the population grows and ages, the department will grow as well.
“We’re getting more and more calls but we work diligently to minimize potential hazards and we talk to people about preventative measures.”
Ord and Pace are now in the midst of finalizing last-minute details before the event after having planned the exhibition over the past year.
It was originally planned to be temporary but because of the amount of work that has been put into it they have decided to make it permanent.
Along with the exhibition, there will be tours of both new and vintage fire trucks, and firefighters will be conducting a number of demonstrations on the block of Nanaimo Avenue beside the hall, such as high angle rope rescues and the jaws of life auto extrication.
There will be a pancake breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. T-shirts and glass mugs will be for sale as centennial memorabilia with proceeds going to the School District 67 Bursary Fund.