Chief Charlie Boyte's report for April 2011

Michael Boyle

They say it takes a community to raise a child. They must be talking about Pender.

Last month the Pender community – its dedicated fire fighters, its parents and its volunteers – helped raise a dozen teens to new levels of confidence, teamwork, skill and leadership.

I’m talking about the 2011 Pender Island Fire Rescue cadet camp. It was a resounding success during Spring Break.

Since Deputy Fire Chief Mike Dine organized the first boot camp for teens in 2005, the event has focused on building values, ethics, teamwork and cooperation, conquering fears, having fun and overcoming challenges as well as learning fire/rescue skills. The life skills cadets have acquired at our camps have served them well in their school and work environments.

In fact, a very high percentage of these young people have continued to serve their communities and have encouraged and mentored their peers. With Camp 2011 in the books the success story continues.

In this modest space it is hard for me to adequately recognize the contributions of the more than 40 community and business volunteers who made it all happen. You really have to be immersed in the camp 24 hours a day for six days to truly understand the magnitude of the task and the level of commitment required.

This year we had some special additions to the camp agenda: Two private helicopter pilots volunteered their time and their machines to join an RCMP helicopter crew to take the cadets into the sky for an air rescue spotting exercise that simulated the search for a downed private aircraft. And, as a bonus, 443 Squadron brought over its Sea King crew to perform a rescue demonstration at Hope Bay. It was spectacular!

Our sincerest thanks go out to all those that helped including several trainers from Salt Spring Fire, the RCMP, the Southern Gulf Islands Emergency Program and the BC Ambulance Service.

I must give special recognition to Kelly Dine and her culinary team who were often up and at it by 5 a.m. and not done until 10 p.m. Cole Dine learned the true meaning of KP ... “keep pealing.” Captain Jamie Holms from Salt Spring was exceptional coordinating and organizing the training schedule. And, of course I am so very proud of our Deputy Chief Dine. He has done a spectacular job over the past 18 months managing the planning and coordination of the camp.

Congratulations to the 12 cadets that completed their 100 hours of training over this intensive week. I am sure we will all be safer in the future thanks to their commitment and dedication to learning valuable fire and rescue skills.

While I’m on the theme of community support I would like to pay tribute to the Tru Value Spirit Board program. PIFR has recently received a donation of $1,300 through Spirit Board which is being used to offset fire department costs. Thanks to the True Value team and all the shoppers who support the fire department on the spirit board.

Finally ... please be aware that burning permits are required for all outdoor burning as of April 1. Permits can be obtained online on this web site and at Hall #1 during regular working hours.

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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