Chief Charlie Boyte's report for February 2013

Michael Boyle

2013 is shaping up to be another exciting year.

In 1991 PIFR entered into the Provincial first responder (FR) medical program. This work accounted for 46 per cent of our call volume in 2012. The program was created in 1989 to improve the continuity of patient care for pre-hospital emergencies because there were significant gaps in ambulance service. and Vince Cain, Chief Coroner of the day completed a report for government and recommended that fire and police services could be used to fill gaps.

Fire halls are located strategically and firefighters can often get to the patient more quickly than ambulance staff, initiate critical interventions, and prevent unnecessary deaths. We see many instances each year where the FR program system has saved lives through its addition to the chain of survival on the Penders.

It is important to understand that the quality of our pre-hospital emergency health care is reliant on a cooperative system that includes you, (through that 911 call), First Responders, BC Ambulance , our talented local Physicians, and our Health Care Society, (through the facilities and services they provide). The system must be activated to be effective. 911 starts that whole ball rolling. So … make that 911 call early folks.

This year we hope to improve the odds further by developing a cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) community outreach program. Over the last months of 2012, three of our first responder instructors completed Saint John’s Ambulance certification. This certification allows us to deliver emergency first aid and CPR training to the general public and Deputy Chief Mike Dine is anxious to get this program up and running.

When medical emergencies result in cardiac arrest the chance of patient survival is greatly enhanced when the patient receives early CPR. Early defibrillation enhances the chance of survival even further opening an opportunity to dovetail our outreach program with a proposed Health Care Society plan to distribute automatic external defibulators (AEDs) to strategic locations on the Penders. The goal is to mesh the Society plan our outreach training, will allow bystanders or family members to start CPR and defibrillation as soon as possible. To achieve this goal we hope to facilitate the following three actions.

First, we hope to see more people willing to initiate the 911 call before that heart stops working. This can be accomplished through early recognition of the signs and symptoms that lead to heart attacks and by overcoming the denial that frequently occurs in circulatory and respiratory emergencies. This is a small education piece that is easily delivered or researched and read from a variety of sources.

Secondly, we would like to see as many people as possible trained and comfortable in the delivery of early CPR.

Thirdly, by dovetailing with the public AED program spearheaded by the health Care Society, we will put a tool is strategic locations that will guide bystander CPR and possibly even restart a heart that is stopped. These actions are critical to improve survivability between the time of the 911 call and the arrival of First Responders or BCAS. Bottom line is, folks stand a much better chance of surviving a heart attack if CRP starts early. I will provide more information on this program in the near future and hope to have some information on the web site soon at

This year is also a Cadet Camp year which adds a level of excitement and anticipation for all our volunteers. The Cadet Camp is scheduled every second year and this year we have 16 young people between 15 and 18 years of age signed up and eager to face the challenges of firefighting. Deputy Chief Dine is in full swing preparing for the pre-training and then the Camp in March. Our volunteers are eager to share their skills, values and virtues with this group with the hope these young people will go on to become “Volunteers Serving Community” and continue their legacy of community service. All funding for the 2013 cadet camp is from donations. The Society can issue charitable tax receipts if you would like to help with this wonderful program.

We have also been able to make some exciting progress on the training ground improvements thanks to a grant from Farm Credit Canada and other generous donors. The volunteers are certainly motivated by the improvements and looking forward to the day when we have a certified training facility to maintain the skills they have worked so hard to achieve. A certified facility also means less time away from their families for off island training. I know those families are anxious to see this project realized almost as much as the volunteers that will put it to use. Project completion is dependent on matching funds for grants. This project is designed to empower our volunteers to go from great to greater and ensure new members can be fully trained locally. Donations towards this project are also eligible for a charitable tax receipt so if you are doing those taxes, please do the math and help out if you can. Donations can be mailed or dropped off at Hall #1 or even done on line by clicking the “how can I help” tab on left on this website

Until next month .. please stay safe.

Fire Chief Charlie Boyte

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict Valid CSS!