Mar 1, 2013 / 10:05 am
A firefighter with over 35 years experience is taking his last ride with the Vernon Fire Department.
Kim Bolton became a volunteer fire fighter in May 1976 and started full time on Oct. 3, 1977. He has seen many changes over the years and remembers there being an electric typewriter at the department – now computers are installed in most modern fire trucks.
“From a technical point of view, the changes have been dramatic,” he says, pointing out when he first started there was ticker tape that came into the department when an alarm was pulled.
The ticker tape would have one, tow or three holes punched into it telling the department where the box alarm was pulled and where the fire was located.
“Equipment and training are the biggest changes,” Bolton says.
“When people come to the job, they already have extrication, Hazmat and Fire Fighter one and two courses on their resumes and the department is moving ahead in a positive way. The Deputy Chiefs have knowledge and experience and the New Chief is forward thinking as well. There is a commitment to make everyone better. Training wasn’t funded before (in the early days.) Now we have excellent instructors and the Training Officer continues to develop a strong firefighting team.”
Bolton has fought some very memorable fires throughout the years, including the Ellison Hotel, Trinity United Church, Sun Valley Sports, the Ice Plant and the Bulman Cannery fire, which was two blocks wide.
In his retirement, Bolton plans to spend time with his family and travel to Australia.
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