Chief Charlie Boyte's report for January 2016

Michael Boyle

Happy New Year Pender!

“Volunteers Serving Community.” What does that mean at PIFR for 2016? It means our goals for the New Year are limitless as we strive to make our great community service even greater.

Fire and rescue service on the Penders has evolved over the years as we have grown to deliver an effective and resilient service that addresses the challenges of modern complex buildings and changing risks. This evolution has also allowed us to meet the stringent occupational health and safety regulations, training and oversight standards required to deliver professional volunteer fire and rescue services.

Professional volunteers ensure that “someone will come who knows what to do” whenever you call 911 for help. At our annual Christmas gathering Dec. 14, Society President Gordon Souter and I had the privilege of thanking our dedicated volunteers for the security they provide our families and neighbours.

As of Dec. 18, PIFR volunteers answered 239 calls. They fall into two broad categories: Fire calls, (structure fires, brush and grass fires, burning and smoke related calls, gas leaks, technical rescue and miscellaneous emergencies - 69 per cent) and medical calls (first responder and ambulance assists - 41 per cent.)

PIFR volunteers answered those calls 24/7 while behind the scenes, helping to do “the whole job,” there is a committed team that ensures we can achieve excellence. They are our people in administration, our truck checkers, hall maintenance people, culinary crews and the seamstress that fixes our turnout gear and uniforms, the people that get our message to the community through our web site, article writing and the work of our grant writers. It is also made possible through the Pender Cooks project and their contribution to the benevolent fund.

Excellence has been made possible by funding and support from Tru Value Foods and New-To-You and other caring partners like the RCMP, the Emergency Program, Victim Services, doctors and BCAS services.

Excellence is achieved by our dedicated staff: Mike and Adrian who ensure our training and operations are leading edge; Debbie who keeps us organized; Donna who keeps the books in order; and, Irene who keeps our facilities clean and presentable.

Excellence is made possible through the Pender Islands Fire Protection Society Board of Directors that carefully manage your tax dollars to support PIFR with the facilities, equipment, and management structure our volunteers need.

As the Christmas season comes to an end be extremely careful disposing of dry Christmas trees. NFPA statistics tell us explosively dry trees account for 240 fires annually, resulting in 13 deaths and more than $16 million in property damage. Chipping is the safest method of disposal.

January is also the season for windstorms and downed power lines. Some Pender residents continue to play a deadly game of chance with downed power lines. Just because a hydro line is down does not mean it is dead. They can still be energized, become re-energized through automatic switching or generator connections and radiate electrical energy many meters through the ground.

On behalf of the Pender Island Fire Protection Society Board of Directors, and the staff and volunteers at PIFR … our very best wishes for a safe, healthy and prosperous 2016.

Fire Chief Charlie Boyte

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Mack Dine

Fire Fighter 2
Technical Rescue

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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