Chief Charlie Boyte's report for March 2013

Michael Boyle

As I write this report PIFR had responded to 21 calls for service to date this year. This is consistent with the same period in 2012 and indicates that our firefighters will likely attend more than 200 calls in 2013. Calls so far include two structure fires, one brush fire, eight first response medical, one ambulance assist, one hydro line incident, one RCMP assist, five automatic alarm calls and two public assists.

Spring break is almost upon us and Deputy Chief Mike Dine is busy with the final preparations for the 2013 Southern Gulf Islands Fire/Rescue Cadet Camp March 18 to 23. Captain Jamie Holmes, training officer at Salt Spring Fire Rescue, is leading the training team which includes 26 firefighters and officers from the two departments.

Kelly Dine has stepped up to the plate again this year to manage the tremendous task of keeping all those cadets and trainers well fed. This is a huge commitment and we are very happy to have her culinary talents and skills available to us again this year. The cadets attended a one day pre-training session Feb. 2nd and are keen to get going. There are 16 cadets registered for the camp and certainly everyone is looking forward to an exciting week. March 23rd is parents’ day and the public is also welcome to come and see the cadets demonstrate newly acquired skills. The demonstrations are from 10 a.m. until noon. Please stop by and see what these young people have accomplished under the mentorship of our volunteer fire/rescue organizations.

This year the cadets will be honoured with the presence of some very special dignitaries at the awards ceremony. I will not to spoil the surprise at this time but certainly the camp has garnered the interest of some wonderful people.

I am sure many of you will have heard a variety of stories about the Jan. 28th trailer fire at 4805 Schooner Way which appeared to start around 7 a.m. Our preliminary investigation has not identified a likely accidental cause for this fire. That does not necessarily mean the fire was intentional, but does mean that we have some more work to do to understand how the fire started. This knowledge is critical in our mission to protect persons and property. Knowing the cause and origin of the fire identifies situations and equipment that may start fires in the future. If you have any information or happened to pass by that area between 6 and 7:45 a.m. you may be able to help us. Please contact Hall #1 at 250-629-3321 and ask for the Chief. You can also call my cell 250-537-0166.

The recent tragic fires in Victoria and Burnaby are stark reminders of the need to have early warning of smoke and two planned and practiced routes to escape a fire in your home. Please check your smoke alarms regularly and when they sound, get out … and stay out of the building and call 911 right away from a safe place. Our trained firefighters will check out the source of the smoke in their air packs and if necessary will already be there to deal with any fire situation in the early stages. There are no costs or charges levied for our services folks, so please don’t delay that call or put yourselves at risk.

These tragedies also highlight our ongoing problem with emergency street numbers. The simple fact is there are far too many missing addresses and that is putting people at risk. Please post your numbers if you haven’t already done so. The CRD bylaw states that every lot must be identified with an emergency street number. That number should be clearly visible from both directions on the street day and night. If your address is clearly marked a missing number may not seem that important. The unfortunate reality is, however, that driveway next door that isn’t marked might be mistaken for yours and cause a delay. Please don’t be shy in letting your neighbour know if their address is missing. Until next month… stay safe.

Fire Chief Charlie Boyte


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