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Penticton  

Checking out a new fire hall

Crowds gathered at the Osoyoos Volunteer Fire Department's new fire hall to check out the new digs and watch firefighters demonstrate some of their equipment.

Fire Chief Rick Jones says likely 500 people turned up throughout the day to see the spacious building, which had its regular engines and an historic fire truck on display.

"It's finally open; now we can have a normal life. Instead of being working on doing this, we can get back to day-to-day stuff," Jones said. "It is a great thing, and everybody's really excited to show what we have, and for me that's great. Everybody's enjoying themselves."

Now that the fire hall is open and all of the equipment is in place, Jones says the crews can get back to work on the day-to-day things like training.

The fire hall was completed in December, and the department began moving things in in January, but Jones says he was waiting for the weather to clear up before holding the grand opening.

"We wanted to have it so it would be nice, we could barbecue, people could be in and out, sit out side and enjoy everything," Jones said. "And we lucked out, what a beautiful day we have. Especially after all the rain we've had the last couple of months."

Jones says about 500 people turned up throughout the event, which ran from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with many of the attendees being children.

"It's good, we encourage them to come in and see things, future firefighters. We're always looking," he said. "Get them interested while they're young, and when they turn 19, then they can come in and join."

Firefighters barbecued burgers and hot dogs for attendees, who watched vehicle extrication, fire hose and extinguisher demonstrations.

Firefighters also performed a timed physical challenge for attendees, which included donning the full gear, which weighs over 70 pounds, carrying a smaller hose up two floors, hoisting a heavy water hose up to the top-floor balcony by a rope, a hose accuracy challenge, repeated use of a sledge hammer and a dummy drag.



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