Chief Charlie Boyte's report for January 2010

Michael Boyle

Happy New Year Pender!

In keeping with tradition, the Pender Island Fire Rescue extended family came together in December to celebrate the festive season.

Santa arrived in a fire truck with a bag full of toys for the young folk. And, Bruce and Dana McConchie organized a wonderful Christmas sing-along.

More than 100 volunteers, spouses and kids attended this pot luck event at the Community Centre. Again this year Royal Canadian Legion cooks prepared turkey, stuffing and veggies. The party gave me and Fire Protection Society Chair Gordon Souter an opportunity to publicly thank the volunteers and their spouses for their great work and sacrifice keeping our community safe.

When I see our volunteer families gathered together like this I am reminded how often we call on them to protect the community and participate in training to ensure their skills are at the highest possible levels. As of today (December 18th) our volunteers have responded to 198 emergency calls in 2009.

By the time you read this report that number will be more than 200. Compared to 2008, they attended more training -- both on weekends and regular training nights -- and they participated in more community events. This group of volunteers represents 2.5 per cent of the population and they take on the enormous task of looking after the other 97.5 per cent of us. They provide a diverse range of emergency services including response to all types of fires, medical calls, vehicle accidents and rescues.

This year, to insure PIFR remains effective we will continue to recruit young fit community members to train to become fire fighters. This is one of our biggest challenges because it takes very special people to commit to the training and service required.

As we leave 2009 behind, I want to recognise just a few of the people that made it such a successful year: Deputy Chief Michael Dine and Captain Adrian Hanson for their exceptional skills and commitment to ensure our training and operations are leading edge; Debbie French for keeping us organized; Pearl Nowak for keeping the books in order; and, Irene Madsen for cleaning up after us.

Most importantly, I sincerely thank all of our volunteers for their commitment, skills and care. I would also like to thank the directors of the Pender Island Fire Protection Society for their work in support of public safety on Pender.

From all of us at Pender Island Fire Rescue – Best wishes for a Safe, Happy and Healthy 2010.


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Richard Lamy

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