Following several serious fires, including a fatality in the mid 1970s, a dedicated group of local citizens worked with the Comox Strathcona Regional District to establish a volunteer fire department for the Oyster River area.
With a new two-bay hall on Regent Road, a new pumper, a very used tanker, and 30 dedicated volunteers the Oyster River Volunteer Fire Department was founded in 1976.
In 2006, the department moved to new quarters at 2241 Catherwood Road. With three double bays, two pumpers, a 14,000-litre tandem tender (tanker), a rescue truck, and thirty-six volunteers, the department now responds to over 200 emergency calls each year.
Since its inception, the department has evolved and has continually upgraded its equipment. In 1994, the members conducted a successful fund raising effort to purchase jaws-of-life auto-extrication equipment. The equipment was in place and in service just before Christmas of that year. The department subsequently updated its name to the Oyster River Volunteer Fire/Rescue Association (ORFR)to reflect its expanded capabilities.
The Oyster River Volunteer Fire/Rescue Association provides fire protection, rescue, extrication from motor vehicle accidents, and emergency first responder service in the Black Creek, Oyster Bay, and York Road areas.
Volunteers, Training, and Activities
The department welcomes applications from physically fit individuals who want to serve the community, appreciate training opportunities, and enjoy the camaraderie of working as a team to serve the community.
Fire fighting and rescue are hazardous tasks. The training required has increased dramatically since 1976. Firefighters train regularly on Wednesday evenings between 1900 and 2100 hours.
Much additional training is conducted on weekends to achieve the knowledge required to
operate safely and provide the skills necessary to effectively serve the community.
Training for new volunteers starts in September.
The ORVFRA also enjoys a number of social events over the year such as a golf tournament, dances, and a banquet help to build the fabric of a working team.