Chemainus Fire Department Chief Al Irwin. (Photo by Malcolm Chalmers Photography)

Chemainus Fire Department Chief Al Irwin. (Photo by Malcolm Chalmers Photography)

Fire prevention, role of newspapers vital

Double billing for important community functions this week

There are two significant occasions currently being marked at the same time, Fire Prevention Week and National Newspaper Week Oct. 3-9.

The importance of both may seem rather obvious, but bears repeating. These days we are inundated with unofficial holidays like Kiss A Wrestler Day, World Vodka Day and, of all things, Virus Appreciation Day so those preposterous observances tend to overshadow the attention deserving of the legitimate ones.

Firefighters are worthy of our gratitude and praise for the jobs they do. It’s especially noteworthy in our small communities about their long-term commitment.

The volunteer firefighters in Chemainus, Crofton, Thetis Island and Penelakut Island don’t just come and go. Many of them continue to serve for long periods of time.

That limited turnover is very important for continuity within the departments. Family traditions have also always been strong, with long-time members passing on their guidance and expertise to the next generation in keeping communities protected.

Firefighters also devote themselves to numerous charities and community events. We salute them this week for everything they do and for being such an incredible means of support – not to mention, we always know they’ll be there in the event of a fire large or small.

National Newspaper Week brings the true sense of media back into focus. Unfortunately, these days, it’s hard to decipher fact from fiction (or friction might be better) due to questionable social media sites and posts.

Local newspapers deliver vital information every day, connecting local communities across the country and keeping citizens informed, engaged and connected. Information comes from legitimate news sources and can be substantiated when so much of what we otherwise read today is plagued by uncertainty.

Support for the news media industry can be as simple as picking up the local paper on a regular basis and patronizing the advertisers, writing a letter to the editor, or reminding friends and family how much newspapers help to keep communities thriving.

firefightersMedia industry