Port Hope is being proactive about fire protection in downtown after a fire last Sunday.
The fire caused minor damage, but Port Hope Mayor Olena Hankivsky spearheaded the walkabout on Thursday, March 30, 2023 which included the mayor, Director of Protection Services Jason Williams, Port Hope Fire Chief Jeff Ogden and a number of firefighters stopped by every store in the downtown to get the message out about fire protection.
Hankivsky spoke to Today’s Northumberland about the endeavor while taking part on Thursday.
“We want to talk to all the business owners and landlords and own the buildings in the downtown core about fire protection, safety, and awareness.”
The fire on Sunday night was minor in nature, but Hankivsky said, “it shook many of us.”
“It was the worst nightmare – it was a call that no Mayor wants to get.”
When Hankivsky arrived on Sunday evening, firetrucks lined downtown Walton Street.
“Old buildings, but our most precious assets are here in this inner core. We want to make sure everybody has a safety plan, they practice the plan, they know who to call and they know where the supports exist in this community. We want to keep this community safe.”
Having the conversation with people in downtown on Thursday afternoon starts the conversation that hopefully raises awareness of what’s in their building, practising the fire plan and if anyone needs help how they can reach out.
“Post pandemic, life has changed, people are coming back into spaces. Maybe they forgot to check their alarms, or their extinguishers, or that they need to practise their fire safety.”
Everyone who spoke with town officials were very grateful for them stopping and having the conversation about fire safety.
“I think it’s nice to go around and have those face-to-face chats. It’s one thing to say go to our website, but there is that value of having those personal conversations and saying to folks, “we want you to be safe, we want your neighbours to be safe, we want those that live about your stores to be safe and we’re saying we are here to work with you and together, we will keep this community safe.”
Hankivsky said she always grateful to the firefighters.
“We have a extraordinary team of volunteers and staff. We are very, very lucky in this municipality, but ideally we want to keep trucks inside the station.”
Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services Respond to Reports of Structure Fire on Walton Street