PARKSVILLE – When you ask a long time resident of Parksville about the Banks family, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the volunteer fire department.
Retired fire chief Doug Banks’ grandfather and his great-uncle were original members of the department, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
“Both served as fire chief at some point in the early stages and helped set the foundation where we got to today.”
Doug spent 45 years with the department and practically grew up around the fire hall.
“The biggest thing that stands out to me is working with all the different members that have served with the department over the time and their commitment level and just wanting to do the best for the community.”
Their event at the fire hall on Jensen Avenue runs from 10-3 and includes station tours, live demonstrations and equipment displays. Banks says the department has come a long way from when he was a rookie.
“When I started we had a plastic helmet, rubber gloves, a turn-out jacket that didn’t have any thermal protection and a pair of hip waders or rubber boots.”
Since retiring in February 2016, Banks still drops into the hall from time to time and has even helped with some training of new recruits.