Hornby Island fire chief Doug Chinnery is giving thanks to a dedicated group of volunteer firefighters on the island.

A crew of eight from Hornby Island Fire Rescue responded to three calls over a six-hour period on Thanksgiving Monday.

All three calls were medical in nature.

“Typically our calls last about two hours if there is any kind of transportation involved,” he said. “But by the time we go to the patient’s house, maybe (we’ll) take them to a clinic for stabilization or for evaluation by the doctor.”

If patients have to go off-island, the closest ambulance station is at Denman Island, so the firefighters will take them to the Hornby Island ferry terminal.

Chinnery noted that the department relies on volunteers whenever these calls come in.

“I think it’s amazing where we had eight members who were willing to drop whatever they were doing on a Holiday Monday, come to the fire hall, (and) go help one of their neighbours or community members.”

Chinnery said being willing to take time away from your family to help a community member “is amazing.”

“Every time that happens I’m always so impressed and so proud of our crew,” he added.

All three patients had to be taken off-island for further treatment. 

“In these cases, we took our patients over on the ferry and did the transfer on the Denman side, and the last one was complicated by the fact that the Denman Ambulance crew was already out on a call,” Chinnery said. 

“So it was a bit of a scramble trying to find a crew to transfer our patient to – BC Ambulance eventually ended up scrambling a crew from Courtenay to come and help the Denman crew so that they can, in turn, get a faster turnaround to come help us. So it was good teamwork (from) all agencies.”