The evolution of Pender Island Fire Rescue (PIFR) is a reflection of the growth of North and South Pender. Over the past three decades our Gulf Island community has become more populated and the demands on our infrastructure more complex.
Twenty-five years ago PIFR consisted of one fire hall and two pieces of equipment. We had about two calls per month. At most, there was one major fire a year and we managed burning regulations.
Today, PIFR consists of three halls situated to optimize call times and maximize homeowner insurance benefits. And, there are more than 10 pieces of equipment.
Now, we have about 200 calls per year of which three are major fires. Last year we were also called to six chimney fires, two vehicle fires and another nine accidents, one forest fire, 18 burn complaints, 64 first response medical emergencies, 30 ambulance assists, and the list goes on.
In an increasingly complex environment, PIFR has evolved to sustain its highly efficient community-based service by recruiting a much broader spectrum of volunteers ... men and women, from all walks of life, teens to seniors, working together and embracing change.
We take pride in the promise that when you need help someone will come who knows what to do.
In order to better deliver on our commitment of service to the community we have grown our force of fire fighters, first responders and support volunteers substantially over the past four years. Today we have 47 active fire fighters and first responders and 51 support crew compared to just 18 active responders and 12 support crew in 2006.
We have come to understand that the best way to make a volunteer force sustainable is to build it on a values-based foundation. Best of all, now we are able to provide a broader range of services to our community. And, we are doing it with a renewed sense of purpose, pride and honour.