Fire Protection ServicesFire protection services are provided to the Community of Tignish by the Tignish Volunteer Fire Department.
Tignish Fire Station-241 Church St.
The Department is considered a Committee of the Community Council and thereby receives the financial support to maintain its facilities and equipment.
View the Tignish Volunteer Fire Department Bylaw.
The department is authorized to carry a maximum of 26 active Firefighters and a number of auxiliary members.
|Present Membership (Active)|
|Fire Chief Harley Perry|
|Past Fire Chief Claude Dorgan|
|Deputy Fire Chief Allan Gavin|
|President Vance Keough|
|Shawn A’Hearn||Todd Harper|
|Gary Arsenault||Jason Bernard|
|Ricky Bernard||Rodney Arsenault|
|Blair DesRoches||Lorne MacNeil|
|Norman Gaudette||Keith McInnis|
|Stephen Trail||Paul McRae|
|Brian Gavin||Ricky Murphy|
|Dennis Gavin||Joe O’Rourke|
|Wilbert Handrahan||Bobby Perry|
|Brian Pedersen||Loring DesRoches|
|Cyril Arsenault||Kevin Doucette|
|Lloyd Gavin||James Harper|
|Willard Murphy||Lester Perry|
The Department provides services to the Tignish Fire District which includes all the area from North Cape to Greenmount, to Profit's Corner and across country to Skinner's Pond. The Fire District collects rural fire dues at $40 per homeowner through the Provincial Property Tax system. The Provincial Government then passes on these dues to the Municipality. Residents and businesses within the Community have their fire dues included in their municipal taxes.
|Peter Burke||Joe T. Arsenault|
|Alcide Boudreault||Camile Chiasson|
|Leslie Maillette||Earl MacDonald|
|Cyril Arsenault||Phil Callaghan|
|Lester Perry||Claude Dorgan|
|Shawn A'Hearn||Cyril Arsenault||Fidele Arsenault||Gary Arsenault|
|Joe T. Arsenault||LeRoy Arsenault||Sylvester Arsenault||Timmy Arsenault|
|Albert Bernard||Henry Bernard||Omer Bernard||Ricky Bernard|
|Alcide Boudreault||Peter Burke||Phil Callaghan||Camile Chiasson|
|Roger Chiasson||Harold Cormier||Lee Cowan||Blair DesRoches|
|Irving DesRoches||David Dodds||Claude Dorgan||Frankie Doucette|
|Gerry Doucette||Kevin Doucette||Bloice Ellis||Arthur Fennessey|
|Leo Fennessey||Alfred E. Gallant||Alfred P. Gallant||Arsene Gallant|
|Roy Gallant||Victor Gallant||Arnie Gaudet||Barry Gaudet|
|Dennis Gaudet||Edgar Gaudet||Edward Gaudet||Gerard Gaudet|
|Joe F. Gaudet||Lorry Gaudet||Nelson Gaudet||Norman Gaudette|
|Allan Gavin||Brian Gavin||Dennis Gavin||Gerald Gavin|
|John Gavin||Leonard Gavin||Lloyd Gavin||Terrence Gavin|
|Terry Gavin||James Handrahan||Patrick Handrahan||Roy Handrahan|
|Wilbert Handrahan||Floyd Hardy||Bernie Harper||Charles Harper|
|Cletus Harper||Howard Harper||James Harper||Todd Harper|
|Ricky Hogan||Milton Keough||Robert Keough||Vance Keough|
|Reggie Knox||Gerard LeClair||Rodney LeClair||Earl MacDonald|
|Lloyd MacLeod||Roy MacLeod||Lorne MacNeill||Leslie Maillette|
|Alfred McInnis||Charles McInnis||John McInnis||Keith McInnis|
|Michael McInnis||Michael McPhee||Earl McRae||Junior McRae|
|Kenneth McRae||Paul McRae||James Morrissey||Ricky Murphy|
|Willard Murphy||Earl O'Rourke||Joe O'Rourke||Louis O'Rourke|
|Vangie Paturel||Brian Pedersen||Stephen Yeo||Harley Perry|
|Lester Perry||Ben Peters||Norman Pitre||Aubin Richard|
|Leo Richard||Louis Richard||Neil Richard||Raymond Richard|
|Don Theriault||Stephen Trail||Eddie Tremblay|
History (As of November, 2009)
The biggest fire Tignish has ever seen was the fire on September 1, 1896. It was caused by children playing with matches in Peter Kinch's carriage shop. It destroyed a large number of buildings, 62 in all and left 14 families homeless.
No more than a week after this fire, the first Tignish Fire Department was organized. It consisted of several leading citizens including A.J. (Sandy) McFadgen, co-worker of Myrick's company at the time.
This department was known as the Bucket Brigade. Not much is known about this bucket brigade because of lack of written materials. It is known however that from this brigade the organization known as the Air Raid Precaution Group was formed. Tignish was not incorporated at this time so businessmen, the priest, and even the former Governor General, Joe A. Bernard, and other people of the village all pitched in money to get the A.R.P. pump from the army. The pumper and hose reel was received in 1941. The hose reel consisted of 5,000 ft. of 11/2 inch hose. The pump was capable of pumping water from the Tignish River to the post office, a distance of close to one mile. The pump (A.R.P.) consisted of a four cylinder engine, mounted on wheels. A crank was used to start the pump. Sometimes the pump wasn't very reliable and the building would be lost.
In those days communication at the time of a fire was a problem but a lot of good work managed to get done just the same. The first men at the fire house would haul the large motor and reel of hose over muddy roads. The hose then had to be connected to a well.
In the early '40's the village installed underground storage tanks for water. One of these first tanks was installed between the former CN station and what was then called the outdoor rink. There used to be a cement slab; engraved with the year 1941.
The hose reel mentioned earlier is still on display at the new Fire Station on Church St.
The first fire station was built in the early '50's, located behind Bernard's Service Station (now the Co-op Gas Bar). Since the village did not have a truck at the time, the building was very small. In fact the building was a salt shop owned by Myrick's, with only two rooms, one used to house the pumper and some hose, the other was used for the meeting room. Around 1952, the Firehall was hauled to the Phillip St. site (now the civic building). A single bay was built and Tignish bought its first fire truck.
The two (2) ton G.M.C. that was purchased had a 500 gallon tank on it and a new portable 10 HP Briggs and Stratton Pumper, also fire hose and one extension ladder. This 1950 fire truck, which Tignish was very proud of, was the only fire fighting equipment Tignish had until 1966. In that year a three (3) ton Chev was purchased.
A new fire station on Phillip Street, was built December 16, 1968, and completed in 1969. Working behind the scene were 24 firemen. The fire station cost $23,000 at the time and the land was donated by the Tignish Sports Association. The station was paid for by fundraisers and donations, one of which was $500.00.
(*The 1950's fire house is now located at Johnny Doyle's)
In 1974, the Tignish Fire Department, the Tignish Sports Recreation Association and the Community of Tignish formed a Committee of six members, two from each group, and set up an account referred to as the Artificial Ice Account. The Committee raised funds with card plays at the local Legion and bingos at the Parish Centre. The Committee administered the funds as needed, i.e. a resuscitator for the Department and the first ice making plant for the rink.
In 1977, Tignish got its first real fire truck, a 1977 Triple Combination Pierre Thibault and in 1983 another new Pierre Thibault Fire Truck was purchased. In 1986 a new rescue unit was purchased replacing the first one which was an ambulance from Rooney's Funeral home in Alberton.
Tignish is very proud of its Fire Department and the people that worked to make it what it is today. It has come a long way since the Bucket Brigade. Tignish is safe to say “It has one of the most modern Fire Departments on P.E.I.”
The Firemenette's Club was formed in the '80's. This club consists of the volunteer firemen's wives, who are very dedicated to the Department. The primary purpose of the club is to serve lunches to the firemen in the event of a serious fire or emergency. They also do fundraising to assist the Fire Department. A few of the things the Firemenettes purchased through fund drives for the Department was a new color T.V. and VCR, that came in handy for watching training tapes, and also kitchen facilities.
The first local telephone exchange was built by Island Telephone in 1911. The first of nine phones was installed in the Parochial House. At the time, the exchange was operated by Mrs. John P. Harper. Later a high school student from the Tignish Convent, Mrs. Evangeline (Gallant) Paturel, took over the telephone exchange which had increased to 18 phones. Mrs. Paturel was a telephone operator for 48 years.
For a fire, whenever someone would call for the Fire Department, Mrs. Paturel would plug in the ends of the cords for the siren that would call the firefighters to the fire. The siren which was electric was located on a thirty foot pole in what was called Myrick's square.
The Fire Department decided to name Mrs. Paturel as the first female firefighter. Although she couldn't leave her post at the time of a fire, she served her position well.
When the dial phone system was installed in Tignish, a more modern communication setup was used. There were special phones installed in six of the firefighter's homes. When someone reported a fire, that person would dial a certain number and all six phones would ring simultaneously, and the parties receiving the message would then contact the firefighters that they were responsible for calling. This system worked well until 1984 when the department installed a paging system.
A new fire station was built at 241 Church Street in 1989 on land donated by Frankie Arsenault. The Station had three bays for trucks, Fire Chief's office, Firefighters meeting room/lounge on the second floor, furnace room and washroom. In the rear portion of the station was a large clubroom with kitchen and washrooms, as well as a long room which was used by the kindergarten classes. A large under-the-floor water storage tank was constructed in one of the bay areas. The building had a standard water pump at time of opening. Later, a large capacity well was connected to the building to operate a large diameter distribution system to fill the truck water tanks. Around 1994, the clubroom became the EMO Emergency Shelter for Tignish and area. A small room was built onto the back of the clubroom to house a generator capable of handling the power needs of the whole Fire Station. The Provincial and Federal Governments assisted in the purchase of the generator. A 1999 International pumper/tanker was added to the Department's fleet in 1999 with some help from the RCMP Musical Ride and for providing security at the Bi-Centennial concert featuring Stompin Tom.
After receiving the necessary training, the Department took on the role of First Responders in the year 2000 and assisted the Ambulance Service during medical calls.
In 2003, the space previously used by the kindergarten was opened up to provide more room for the emergency vehicles. Also, this year saw the purchase of the “Jaws of Life” used to extract occupants from cars involved in an accident.
In 2005, the Department added a 2005 International Rescue Unit which replaced the 1986 Chev Cube Van.
In 2006, The Department added a 2001 International tanker to replace the 1984 tanker.
And, in 2008, a 2008 International pumper/tanker was added to replace the 1973 pumper.
The Tignish Fire Department continues to serve the Tignish Fire District and to receive training to make them better at what they do. The Department continually needs new young volunteers to keep their numbers up to the required level.
The information for this article was collected from the memories of a number of people and newspaper clippings.
Special thanks go out to the following people who contributed to this article. Thank you to:
|Leroy Arsenault||Elizabeth Cran||Roy MacLeod||Terrance Gavin|
|Gerard Gaudet||Claude Dorgan||Edith Eldershaw||Connie McInnis|