Chief Charlie Boyte's report for May 2013

Michael Boyle

PIFR had responded to 48 emergency calls as of April 18th when I was writing this report. Last year there had been 43 calls. Based on those numbers my math indicates we can expect our emergency call volume to exceed 200 emergency incidents again this year.

Our annual awards banquet was held at Poets Cove Resort and Spa on April 13th. Our sincerest thanks go out to the management, owners and staff at Poets Cove for sponsoring this important event. The annual Awards Banquet recognizes the significant contribution of our pager carrying members. These include our volunteer firefighters, first responders, and communications people. Based on National Fire Protection Association statistics members like ours typically are available to respond to calls 50 per cent of the time. That means our pager carrying members contribute at least 4,380 hours of “on call time” annually and I know for a fact that many of our volunteers contribute many more hours than that.

Wearing a pager has become a weighty responsibility, but our responders are up to the task. We are very fortunate that our responders wear that pager tirelessly. That commitment allows us to keep our families safe from fires and to ensure that when emergencies arise “someone will come that knows what to do” every time you call 911. It is a great honour to recognize their commitment formally each year. This year some exceptional benchmarks in community service were reached by our volunteers. Captain Alan Neil was presented the Governor General’s Medal for 20 years of Exemplary Fire Service to Canada and the Community of Pender Island. Exemplary service is characterized as good conduct, industry and efficiency by the Crown. Fire Protection Society President Gordon Souter presented the medal on behalf of the Crown and joined us in thanking Alan for his tremendous contribution.

The commitment our volunteers have made constantly amazes me. Our ranks now include four people that have reached this 20 year milestone in community service. Several members reached the five year milestone this year; Greg Hankins, Glenn Henderson, Sandy Johnson, Richard Lamy, Val Smith, Cecilia Suh. Five year awards also went to some former graduates of our cadet program: Braedon Bigham, Mathew Kordyback, and Issac Nicholson. A three year service award was also presented to Alan Powelson for his work in Communications.

Brian Morton and Eli Carlson have completed one year of service and Mack Dine (another cadet graduate) just missed the one year cut by a month. Fitness challenge winners were: Sheena Fulop, Lt. Braedon Bigham and Lt. Sandy Johnson. Lieutenant Sandy Johnson also received the Chief’s Award for the greatest Overall contribution to PIFR by a responding member in 2012. Captain Jason Atkinson was awarded Firefighter of the Year by his peers for exemplary service and Paul Hutcheson won the Community Service and Special Projects award for exceptional effort and dedication in those categories. To top it all off Gordon Souter presented me with my 25 year Long Service Medal from the Province of BC. The final award of the evening is the one least coveted. It is the driver of the year award. It was awarded to a member that will remain anonymous; however, I can assure you this member will never again put a scratch on one of our fire trucks.

To top off our events in April we were honoured with a visit by Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon. It was truly a great honour to present to her Honour some of the successes we have realised at PIFR and also the challenges we see in the volunteer fire service moving forward. Clearly the Lieutenant Governor represents the Crown and Canada with honor and dignity. And just for a little fun we made her Honours day with a ride down the hill in the fire truck.

You have likely noticed the fire signs around the island stating “Permits Are Required.” For current information on wildfire risk and burning regulations please visit www.penderfire.org. The information on the website will be updated as the fire season progresses. Please check your smoke detectors and until next month, stay safe.

Fire Chief Charlie Boyte


Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
Permit is required
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member

Michael Dine

Deputy Chief
Hot Zone
Tactical High Angle Rope Rescue
First Responder
Engineer

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911

Non-Emergency:

250 629-3321

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