Naramata Fire Department celebrates 60 years

Sixty years ago a few men decided to make their tiny community a safer place to live and formed what is now Naramata Fire Rescue.

Chief Tony Trovao (left) of Naramata Fire Rescue with crew members Dan Mercier (centre) and John Fleishman at the fire hall this week. The department is celebrating its 60th anniversary June 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sixty years ago a few men decided to make their tiny community a safer place to live and formed what is now Naramata Fire Rescue.

From its’ humble, single-truck beginnings and a crew of dedicated volunteers with little or no training, the department now responds to almost any emergency from fires to first medical response and marine rescue.

However as much as the department has grown in resources and manpower, since taking over as chief in 2013,Tony Trovao has urged his firefighters to go back to their roots when it comes to community service.

“We’ve changed the mindset here we’re looking at the old customer satisfaction aspect of it doing the extras because people around them (victims) are going through it too,” said Trovao who, after nearly two decades is the longest serving member.

“I tell them (crews) that every call we go to, we treat them like our family.”

On Saturday, June 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the community will have an opportunity to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the department with a special open house.

Trovao remembers hearing one story about the first fire truck not being good at climbing hills so the volunteers would leave it parked on a hillside in somebody’s orchard.

“That’s where it stayed until they needed it and everyone knew where the keys were and away they’d go,” he said. “So they would be going downhill to the fire and there wouldn’t be as much of a rush getting back.”

Naramata Fire Rescue is now what the chief describes as a “full-service” department much like the larger urban stations.

Apparatus include an engine, a tender, a mini pumper, a 21-foot rescue boat, 4 X 4 medical unit and two pickup trucks.

There are also possible plans to expand service to the area known as Indian Rock which is nine kilometres north of Naramata.

“We’ve just got an amazing group of people who by their very nature just want to help people. They also have a passion for the firefighting bit of it, so we have a good mix,” said Trovao.

“Like the Plexus fire, as soon we got back to the hall we had someone grab one of our fire boots a said let’s donate some money and we came up with a pretty nice figure. When you’ve just spent nine hours at a fire scene and you have a kitty started with a couple hundreds bucks in it right off he bat that’s petty good.

“So with the 60-year anniversary we’re acknowledging the people who started this and we’re maintaining what’s here and we’re trying to make it better and we’re trying to move it forward for the next few generations.”


Just Posted

100 Homes Penticton gets a new name after year of success

The campaign, run by the United Way South Okanagan, housed an additional 130 people in 2019

Penticton council urged to consider finding student housing options

Students with the Okanagan College Penticton campus presented at the regular meeting on Oct. 15

Is your business ready for when disaster strikes? Find out at FutureBiz Penticton 2019

The event for entrepreneurs to learn and connect returns for its second year on Dec. 4

Shinedown pumped to return to Penticton

The metal band stops at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Oct. 15

Celtic Illusion coming to Penticton in 2020

The show features contemporary Irish dance paired with grand illusions and magic

Election 2019: Connie Denesiuk – Liberal Party candidate for South Okanagan – West Kootenay

Connie Denesiuk is running for the Liberal Party in the South Okanagan – West Kootenay riding

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

Okanagan ski hills highlighted on website’s ‘most affordable’ list

HomeToGo looks at rentals, lift passes, accommodations and food to compile list of Top 50

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Quantum 1 cannabis retailer scheduled to open in Similkameen Nov. 1

Owner Russ Rossi promises modern shopping experience

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Okanagan man killed in head-on collision on Highway 1 near Salmon Arm

Police say 21-year-old died at scene after pickup truck collided with transport trailer

Most Read