Chief Charlie Boyte's report for February 2011

Michael Boyle

During the recent wind storms several Pender residents played a deadly game of chance with downed power lines. Some people even removed the fire department’s warning cones so that they could drive over fallen BC Hydro lines.

This can have deadly consequences. Just because a Hydro line is down does not mean it is dead. Downed lines can still be energized, can become re-energised through automatic switching or generator connections, and can radiate electrical energy many metres through the ground. You do not want to be there when that happens.

Please ... never approach a downed line; stay back at least 10 metres; and assume that the line and anything it touches is energized. If you see a downed power line call 911 and report the location from a safe distance!

Rubber tires or boots are no guarantee that you will be insulated from a downed power line. Tires or rubber boots will conduct high voltage electricity through your body or the frame of a vehicle. If that happens, it can become a first responder call or fire that is difficult to manage. Until BC Hydro has confirmed the line is de-energised, the fire/rescue crews can do little to help. This can take several hours and the consequences can be lethal.

Make Sure Your Address Sign is Clearly Visible

A problem we often face is... finding the location of your emergency. There are far too many addresses that are hidden or difficult to read from the road. When you call 911 the phone does not attach a string to the ambulance or fire truck and drag it to your location. We need an address posted to find you.

You are required by law to have your address clearly visible from both directions, in all weather conditions, at the driveway entrance. This means you need numbers posted at the roadside in reflective or contrasting numbers a minimum of 4 inches high that can be seen readily after dark. Have a look along the road at night and see how many driveways you pass before a number is easily identifiable. Then look at your own sign when you get home. It is there, clearly visible and the number easy to read?

Then imagine yourself waiting for help to arrive when your house is on fire or your injured or dying loved one needs help, and then hear the sirens pass by. If your sign wasn’t visible you will understand that you should down to the store to get yourself a new address post before the above situation becomes a reality in your life. This is not rocket science folks. There are plenty of contractors out there that will put an address up if you are unable to do it yourself. If you have trouble finding one – give us a call at the hall and we will be happy to see you are looked after.

In closing I have some great news! In March this year we are running a Fire / Rescue Cadet Camp for youths 15-18 years of age here on Pender. This is a joint venture of the Southern Gulf Islands Fire Departments.

The Camp focuses on basic firefighting skills, search and rescue techniques and first response medical procedures. The goal of the Camp is to introduce Gulf Island’s youth to careers as firefighters; to create an opportunity for them to observe the dedication of our fire/rescue volunteers and professionals and to introduce them to the concept and importance of community volunteerism. This opportunity to mentor young men and women to serve our communities should not be underestimated; after all, our communities’ youth represent the future of our emergency services. With your help the future of our fire and rescue services can be bright.

Since the first camp was delivered in 2005 we have graduated many fully qualified firefighters out of our Fire Cadet program that serve all the Gulf Islands. Five of those graduates now serve the Pender Islands Communities as fully qualified NFPA 1001 level 2 accredited firefighters. This is a huge success story.

This year, more than 40 volunteers, firefighters and community members have committed to donate their time and energy to make the camp possible for the Cadets. The hard costs for camp delivery are approximately $1,250.00 per student and we are counting on your donation, large or small, to help with these costs. Please send your tax deductable donation to the Pender Islands Fire Protection Society, PO Box 61 Pender Island BC, V0N 2M0. You can also donate through our web site at Please indicate on your cheque or through our web site donation screen that your donation is for the Southern Gulf Islands Fire Rescue Cadet Camp. Thank you all so much for your support, and please stay safe!

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Hazell Udy

First Responder

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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