Chief Charlie Boyte's report for April 2014

Michael Boyle

Spring has arrived and your volunteer fire department has responded to 41 emergency calls to date… about one call every two days so far this year.

The level of fire and rescue service delivered on the Penders is determined by the Pender Islands Fire Protection Society (PIFPS). The society elects a volunteer Board of Directors to manage its affairs. We have been very fortunate to recruit high levels of experience and talent for our current board. Our volunteer board works tirelessly to implement the wishes of the society to meet community needs and expectations and the AGM provides important input in gauging their success achieving PIFPS goals.

As Fire Chief, I am responsible for day-to-day operations and ensuring that the right resources are available and capable of responding to calls in accordance with all relevant acts and regulations. I am also responsible for management of the regulatory and business components necessary to provide fire and rescue services including human resources and customer service, plus operating and capital budget management. I report to the Board of Directors monthly and to the Pender Islands Fire Protection Society (PIFPS) annually. The AGM is my opportunity to let the Society know how and what we are doing at PIFR to meet our responsibilities.

Please look for the Pender Islands Fire Protection Society (PIFPS) notice of AGM in this issue of the Pender Post and if possible make it a priority to attend the meeting. Memberships are available at the door and they give you an opportunity to vote on the issues that will shape the future of your fire and rescue services.

It’s April folks and that means fire permits are required for any and all outdoor burning.

Our web-based method of obtaining fire permits has been highly effective in making the permit system accessible to both permanent and part-time residents. On our end, it reduces staff time and allows us to track and check the validity of permits from any computer or our cell phones. The system was designed and implemented by our volunteer webmaster Sergei Petrov.

This program is a wonderful example of how community feedback can result in positive change. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you think there are other ways we can better serve your needs. Your feedback will help us to continue meeting your needs in the future. You can use the “contact us” tab on the home page if you have an idea to share.

This website allows you to apply for a fire permit and pay online simply by clicking on “Fire Permits” in the navigation bar on the right side of the screen. You can also review the Burning Regulations through the tab on that page. If this online process does not suit you, just drop by Fire Hall #1 to apply in person and get an update on current regulations and conditions. The administration office is open Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Tickets for infractions can be issued by Environment BC, CRD bylaw officers, the RCMP and designated fire department officers. If you purchase your permit on line please remember to print a copy and have it available when burning. Enforcement of the burning regulations is generally complaint driven and you must be able to show any of these officers a valid permit if requested. Our fire department officers can check online permits on our smart phones. The other agencies mentioned, however, do not have this capability and may issue a ticket if you cannot produce a valid copy of your permit. Please also remember that you are responsible for any fire you light including any damages from an escaped fire.

The wet spring will result in a proliferation in the growth and volume of fire fuels (underbrush and grass). Long range forecasts indicate we will be facing a hot, dry summer and when these fuels start to dry out they will allow fires to start and spread quickly. Please remember to follow the conditions stated on your permit for all outdoor burning. Keep an eye on the website for information on fire conditions.

Please burn responsibly and respect your neighbours. Smoke can be deadly to people with compromised lung functions or other health problems. A little talk across the fence can eliminate a health emergency or a complaint driven response by the fire department.

Thank you for your assistance towards another fire safe season.

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Craig Barber

Fire Fighter 2

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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