I wanted to take a moment out of our busy schedules to acknowledge our community members who donate time, money and other important contributions that help make our community great! These people are the unsung heroes of a community doing their part to make this beautiful town a better place for all of us.
This week I am featuring the Grand Valley and District Fire Department
Most Grand Valley Resident’s drive past the Grand Valley & District Fire Department Building every day but many do not realize the contributions this department makes to the community in addition to being first responders in an emergency situation.
I sat down with Chief McNeilly to talk about the Fire Department, it’s members and the services they provide the community.
Kevin McNeilly has been the Chief since 2012 and has lived in the Grand Valley area since 2010. Chief McNeilly has over 37 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter, career firefighter as well as Officer and Chief of training. While we were talking the Chief was quick to point out that this post should be about the team which includes the 34 volunteer firefighters which include 1 Chief, 2 Deputy Chiefs, 3 Captains, 1 Acting Captain, Chief of Training and a volunteer training officer. The Fire Department team also includes the Grand Valley Firefighters Association as well as the Ladies Auxillary.
The Fire Department responds to fire, motor vehicle accident, medical and alarm calls in Grand Valley and Surrounding areas. With a very impressive record of having the first truck out within 2-3 minutes of the call being received 80% of the time. They also provide support when requested from other departments in Dufferin County.
The Fire Department, Association and Ladies Auxillary are also very active in the community providing support and assistance to local events such as the Fall Fair, Rodeo and more as well as helping organize and run the Santa Clause parade.
The Grand Valley Firefighters Associations most recent event the Halloween Haunted House attracted over 600 people and helped raise money that goes directly back to the community to support such initiatives as the splash pad, providing defibrillators for the Baseball diamond and more. Some of the events the Association and the Ladies Auxillary put on annually are the Halloween Haunted House, Breakfast with Santa, the Santa Clause Parade, Water Ball tournament and Firehall Dance.
The Grand Valley Fire Department puts training and education at the forefront. The department not only provides education in the community such as Firefighter for a day in partnership with our local public school as well as training for the department to ensure that the firefighters have the most up to date qualifications and information.
Are you interested in becoming a Volunteer Firefighter? Come out on Thursday night to fill out an application. Applications are kept on file until the recruitment is needed, a selection process to follow. An interesting fact is that Volunteer Firefighters go through one year of training before they are able to be on a truck responding to calls.
I asked Cheif McNeilly what helpful information I could pass along to the Town of Grand Valley residents.
IMPORTANT TIP #1-Test and check the batteries on your smoke alarms, a great time to do this is when you change your clocks with daylight savings time twice a year.
IMPORTANT TIP #2- When you see a green flashing light on a vehicle that is a volunteer firefighter heading to a call. Please safely move to the side of the road to allow them to pass just as you would any other first responder vehicles. This helps the firefighters get to the station in good time so they can provide help as quickly as possible.
You can find out more about the Grand Valley and District Fire Department from its website here. You can also follow the Grand Valley Firefighters Association on Facebook here to keep updated on all of the events and initiatives they do in and around the town!
Thank you Chief NcNeilly and the members, of the Grand Valley and District Fire Department, for your time, efforts and dedication to ensure our town and its residents are safe and protected.