RIVER HEBERT – It may be old enough for a pension, but don’t expect the River Hebert Fire Department to retire anytime soon.
The busy volunteer department will celebrate its 65th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 8 as part of its annual open house at the fire hall. The event will take place from 1-3 p.m., featuring live music, an equipment display, Pumper Joe, a fishpond and a free barbecue.
River Hebert Fire Chief George Rector is hoping to have a few of the department’s honourary firefighters on hand for the event, to help cut the cake and share some stories about the organization’s history, while at the same time provide an opportunity for the department to demonstrate some of its abilities for the community.
“I started the open house 3-4 years ago,” Rector explained. “We had an old car and we took the roof off it, to show why we need the Jaws of Life. One year we had a competition, with firefighters running up ladders and stuff. Last year we unveiled our new monument with the old pump on it.”
This year will feature displays of the department’s fire trucks and other equipment, along with the anniversary celebration.
Rector is hoping that, by displaying their equipment, it will serve as a reminder for residents to never hesitate to call the fire department when they are in need.
“It’s just to show people we have all this stuff on board and we’re ready to serve the community as best we can,” said the chief. “That’s why we keep fighting to get more stuff, and newer stuff.”
While there is some disagreement in the community about the fire department’s year of origin – some say it was established in 1947, while others claim it was 1948 – the chief has an answer for it. He will be giving out lapel pins that say 1947-48.