The bad weather in early 2017 made life busy at Pender Fire with 55 emergency calls as of March 16th, a 100 per cent increase over the same period in 2016.
Over the years, I and the volunteers have met many of you, sometimes at your most vulnerable moments. Having written many reports for the Pender Post, I believe it would be special to include a good news story now and then. Because we protect your privacy, many of the good deeds are not shared with others. I know many of you have received amazing care from our volunteers over the years. If you have a story you can share please send it to me so we can brighten up this report with some of the amazing things that happen daily in this community.
The Pender Islands Fire Protection Society (PIFPS), under contract to the CRD, defines the level and scope of fire and rescue services delivered here. The PIFPS elects a Board of Directors to manage its affairs and has been very fortunate to recruit experienced talent. The Board has eight volunteer members and a ninth may be appointed. Every person owning property or living on the Penders can be a member of the Society by paying an annual membership fee. (Currently $2) The Society AGM provides a critical opportunity for community input and provides the feedback necessary to gauge the Board’s success achieving the goals of the Society.
As Fire Chief, I am responsible for daily operations of Pender Island Fire Rescue and for ensuring that the right resources are available and capable of responding to a broad range of emergencies. I am also responsible for budget management and planning. I report to the Board of Directors monthly and to the PIFPS annually. The AGM is my opportunity to update and advise the Society on PIFR’s success in meeting those responsibilities.
Please look for the notice of AGM in this issue of the Pender Post and, if possible, attend. Memberships are available at the door allowing you to vote on the issues that will shape the future of your fire and rescue services.
It is April and that means fire permits are required for all outdoor burning. Permits are available on this website and most workdays at Fire Hall #1 by the RCMP station. This website allows you to apply for a fire permit and pay online simply by clicking on “Fire Permits” in the navigation bar on the right side of the screen. You can also review the Burning Regulations through the tab on that page. If this online process does not suit you, just drop by Fire Hall #1 to apply in person and get an update on current regulations and conditions. The administration office is open Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
If you purchase your permit on-line, print a copy or store it on your personal device so you have it available to show at all times when burning. Tickets for infractions can be issued by a variety of enforcement agencies. You must be able to show a valid permit if requested. Please remember you are responsible and accountable for any fire you light including any damages from an escaped fire.
Please burn responsibly and respect your neighbour’s health and welfare. Smoke can be deadly to people with breathing issues or other health problems. A little talk across the fence can eliminate a health emergency or a complaint driven response by the fire department.
Until next month stay safe and please remember daylight savings means it is time to check your smoke alarm batteries.
Fire Chief Charlie Boyte