Chief Charlie Boyte's report for January 2014

Michael Boyle

Happy New Year Pender Islanders!

“Volunteers Serving Community.” What does that mean today? Our community based, community supported Fire and Rescue service has evolved over the years as the community has changed and grown. PIFR services now cover a broad variety of emergency incidents. We have expanded to meet those needs and in doing so we are able to enhance your safety, lifestyle and environment.

This evolution ensures that “someone will come who knows what to do each time you call 911.” As of Dec. 18, 2013 our volunteers had answered 201 calls for assistance. The bulk of those calls fall into the following six broad categories: Fires (including, structure fires, chimney fires, vehicle fires, alarm bells, fuel spills. gas leaks) totalled 42 calls or 21 per cent of the total; forest fuel related calls (includes fires, burn complaints, illegal activity/burning) totalled 45 or 22 per cent; miscellaneous incidents (including Search and Rescue, RCMP assists and public assists) totalled 20 or 10 per cent; BC Hydro line incidents totalled 14 or seven per cent; motor vehicle accidents totalled 7 or three per cent and medical first responses/rescues (including BC Ambulance Service assistance when BCAS is short staffed) totalled 73 calls or 36 per cent of all incidents attended.

It is clear from these figures that our volunteers are committed and dedicated to protecting community safety and security. They are also committed to this community in many other ways. In 2013 our volunteers supported more than 15 community events. In December these included the Lantern Festival Polar Bear Swim and food bank drives at Driftwood and the Santa Ship which netted over $640 in donations and a truck full of food for those in need.

The Pender Island Fire Rescue extended family came together for our traditional Christmas dinner on December 14. This event provides an opportunity to gather our community volunteers, their families and children, and thank them for their service and support. These great folks make significant sacrifices to serve the Penders and we appreciate all they do. Our sincere thanks to the Royal Canadian Legion and the volunteers that prepared our Christmas meal and created a wonderfully festive atmosphere. We know how hard you worked and really appreciate the extra effort and care demonstrated by you to make the make the event special for us.

The highlight of the event was an unexpected visit from Santa. According to the incident report Santa’s sleigh clipped a tree and he needed some help. Rescue 28 responded to the scene and helped get the sleigh untangled from the branches. Before he took off again Santa asked if there was something he could do for the responders. They told him about our Christmas party and how the children would be so excited if he could take a few moments to visit. In the blink of an eye he was loaded in the fire truck. With lights flashing and siren blaring the crew whisked him off to the party. A gift for each child magically appeared under the tree and our little folk’s faces lit up with smiles as he passed out the gifts. Then with a Ho Ho Ho he was off and away as the crew hurried him back to his sleigh and Christmas tasks ahead. Thank you so much Santa for making the night special for all.

As we leave 2013 behind, I want to recognise a few members of our team who do a great deal to achieve excellence: Deputy Chief Michael Dine and Captain Adrian Hanson for their exceptional skills, talent and commitment to ensure our training and operations are leading edge; Debbie French for keeping us organized; Donna Aston for keeping the books in order; and, Irene Madsen for maintaining our facilities in pristine condition and of course all our Volunteers.

On behalf of the Pender Island Fire Protection Society Board of Directors, and the Staff and Volunteers at PIFR… our very best wishes to all of you for a safe, healthy and prosperous 2014.

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Adrian Hanson

Technical Rescue

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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