Deputy Chief Mike Dine's Report for December 2009

Michael Boyle

Parents! Grandparents! Is there a teenager in the family? If so ... check this out!

Pender Island Fire Rescue is planning its fourth Gulf Islands Youth Fire Camp this coming March during Spring Break. In years past this firefighting boot camp for teens has helped participants reach new levels of confidence, self esteem, strength, team work and initiative. This March we hope the camp will include participants from the northerly Gulf Islands such as Thetis and Gabriola as well as the usual participation by teens living on the Southern Gulf Islands.

Every time we run the cadet camp I discover how many great kids we have in our islands communities. Firefighting training is a great way to challenge yourself mentally and physically and when it is delivered by 20 to 30 volunteers over the course of five days it is even more impactful.

If you know of a young person who can benefit from this program have them give Pender Island Fire Rescue a call at 250-629-3321. Applications are available now and should be submitted by September 30th.

Two of our first generation cadets, who are now full-fledged volunteer firefighters, have written about their experience.

Jasmine Dine wrote: "If you had asked me in Grade 9 if I would ever consider becoming a firefighter I probably would have laughed and I know people are a little surprised to learn that I - the dress wearing, violin playing lady from Pender Island - am a volunteer firefigh"ter.

"There were so many things I did during my week at cadet camp that I never imagined I could do. I have always had a hard time with small spaces but with the support of my team I made it though the obstacle course blindfolded and in full gear. Many of us were forced to face our fears and by doing so I believe we all became stronger more confident people.

"I realized that working as a team, learning to give respect to those with more knowledge and experience, persevering in the face of failure, working under pressure and facing my fears were skills I could apply to all aspects of my life. I am very excited for anyone who takes the program because I am sure their lives will be enriched like mine."

Morgan Dudley wrote: "At the first camp in 2005 all the tasks the cadets were asked to perform -- structural firefighting, auto-extrication, rope rescue and search and rescue plus hours of classroom work on first aid, emergency electrical safety and hazardous materials - required us to work together if we were to have any chance of success.

"The camp was not a recruiting drive to find new members for the fire department, although many of us became volunteer firefighters, rather it was an education in why participating in our communities with integrity, honor and respect is so important."

Finally, the staff and volunteers at PIFR wish to thank the community for its vigilance in fire prevention and support for our fire prevention programs at the Farmers Market and BC Ferries. As of this date we have not experienced a single human-caused fire on the outer gulf islands despite the high and extreme fire hazard. This is a testament to the value of this preventative work and the diligence of islanders.

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Michael Dine

Deputy Chief
Technical Rescue

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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