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A vacation update . . .


August 19, 2010
By Laura King


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Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010

A vacation update . . .

Yesterday was a work day despite being on vacation (sound familiar?).  It started with a visit to the Nova Scotia Firefighters School in beautiful Waverley, N.S., on lovely Powder Mill Lake. The word bucolic probably isn’t used often to describe fire school locations but it was a gorgeous August day under a vacation-blue sky and the setting was, well, bucolic.

As
executive director John Cunningham (a fellow Caper!) explained, the school is
the last non-government volunteer recruiting fire training school and it trains
6,000 students a year, 90 per cent of whom are volunteers who take evening and
weekend courses. I hope to catch up with the school’s new mobile training unit
here in Sydney, N.S., over the next couple of days.
Stay tuned for photos! (Incidentally, the best line of the day – from instructor Lorne Piercey to a group of students in the pre-employment program: "These are gloves. When you're not wearing them put them in the pockets of your bunker gear. Left glove, left pocket. Right glove, right pocket." Much nodding and taking of notes!).

Incident
No. 1

Shortly
after leaving the fire school and doing some conference calls and e-mails from
the parking lot, I was visiting in nearby Windsor Junction and made a Tims stop
in Fall River, at which point two tankers, a chief’s vehicle and the RCMP
whizzed by us en route to a structure fire in Fall River Village (which, as an
aside, voted about 20 years ago, when municipal water was brought into the surrounding
neighbourhoods, to forgo hydrants). Eleven apparatus from
Halifax Regional Municipality’s new Lakeview, Fall River, Windsor Junction Station 45, Waverley and Lower Sackville, were on the
scene for the vehicle/garage/house fire, which made for some traffic chaos.
There were no injuries (the rest of the day wouldn’t turn out so well). I
resisted the temptation to go take pictures – while on vacation!

Incident
No. 2

A couple
of hours later we were cruising east on the Trans-Canada toward Cape Breton and
making very good time (as Ontario drivers in Nova Scotia tend to do) despite
the numbers of gargantuan RVs and travel trailers. The divided highway east of
Halifax – which I swear the Nova Scotia government(s) has been building since
the 1970s – had given way to two lanes in Pictou County (home of the 2009
Maritime chiefs’ conference) and Springsteen was playing – loudly – on the iPod
when we saw the sign: WARNING: Detour at exit 27 – accident. Fire trucks,
police cars, Nova Scotia government vehicles, blockades, pylons, dozens of
people in orange vests . . . Sadly, two drivers were killed when a tractor
trailer carrying used oil and a pickup truck collided. Detour: 30 minutes
behind a massive RV (which was behind a kilometer-long line of trucks and more
RVs) over dangerously narrow, winding roads. You can read the story here.

Incident
No. 3

We had
just left the traffic behind from Incident No. 2 and were minutes from the
Canso Causeway and a long-anticipated pit stop at Tims in Port Hawkesbury. More
orange detour signs. More fire trucks. More
Nova Scotia highways personnel. Again, sadly,
a
Nova
Scotia
woman was killed near Monastery, N.S., after a passenger
vehicle and a tour bus collided shortly after
4 p.m. on the Trans-Canada (you can read the story here). The lengthy detour
through the lovely – actually, bucolic –
village of Havre Boucher was pleasant and the view was
lovely. There was no Tims.

We
reached our destination in 4.5 hours despite the detours and we’re staying off
the roads today! If you’re on vacation – and I know many of you are – drive
safely!

 

 

 

 


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