Chief Charlie Boyte's report for January 2017

Michael Boyle

Happy New Year from all of us at Pender Island Fire Rescue! We wish you all a safe, happy and healthy 2017.

In keeping with tradition, the PIFR extended family came together Dec. 10th to celebrate the festive season. Sherrie kept the young ones busy while they waited for Santa to arrive in a big red fire truck as he has done every year since 1972. Santa always makes sure each of our young people gets a small gift to keep them busy until the big day.

More than 100 fire department volunteers, spouses and children attended the event at the Community Hall. The proud Royal Canadian Legion volunteers did a spectacular job preparing a tasty turkey dinner and everyone went home full and very happy.

This is a wonderful opportunity to get all our volunteers together and celebrate the holiday season. It is also an opportunity for me to thank the volunteers and families on behalf of PIFR, the Board of Directors and the Community. They do amazing work and we are so lucky to have this dedicated group looking after us.

As of Dec. 16 PIFR had responded to 274 emergency incidents. By year end that number was expected to be close to 300. Our volunteers contributed more than 17,000 hours in training, calls, duty shifts, truck checks, grant writing, editing and writing and inventory control. They also supported more than 20 other great community causes by attending or organizing special events.

January fire safety: Christmas trees cause about 230 home fires, seven deaths and more than $16.5 million in property damage annually in the U.S. and Canada. As the Christmas season comes to an end please be extremely careful when you decide to get rid of that dry Christmas tree. Dry trees burn explosively in less than 15 seconds and can ignite your cloths and other items within 25 feet. 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; it can still be energized, become re-energized through automatic switching or generator connections and radiate electrical energy many meters through the ground. You do not want to be there when that happens. The consequences can be lethal. Never approach a downed line; stay back at least 10 meters; and call 911 from a safe distance.

Space heaters and extension cords cause many house fires every year. Do not hide cords under carpets. Ensure they are designed for the connected load. Regularly check cord ends and make sure they remain cool when in use. If they are warm they are a fire hazard. Keep heaters three feet from combustibles and unplugged when you are not in the room. Most importantly, check your smoke alarms and make sure they work. They can save your life.

As we leave 2016, I want to recognize team members who made it such a successful year: Deputy Chief Mike 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; Donna Aston for keeping the books in order; and, Irene Moedel for keeping our halls clean and organized. I would also like to thank our committed Board of Directors that works tirelessly to ensure our services are well managed, compliant and efficient.

Deputy Chief Dine is still looking for a few new fire fighters to start training in January. If you are fit, motivated, honest and caring we can teach you all the skills you need to become an emergency responder. Are you ready for an exciting challenge? Call Deputy Chief Dine at 250-629-3321.


Fire Chief Charlie Boyte

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Jon Grelik

Technical Rescue

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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