Chief Charlie Boyte's report for September 2013

Michael Boyle

Despite periods of “extreme” and “high” wildfire risk through much of this summer I have no serious fires to report. Thank you all for your cooperation with closures and for reporting risky behaviours. Even so, we are not out of the woods yet. The cooler weather and precipitation have limited the risk, but the forest fuels are still very dry. We are likely to see extreme conditions again so don’t let your guard down.

We will continue to do our best to educate the traveling public about fire hazards at Swartz Bay, the market and other places. We cannot afford to become complacent. Overall, this year has been a busy one for our volunteers. PIFR had responded to a total of 125 emergency calls by August 18th.

You will see some new Automatic External Defibulators (AEDs) mounted at various locations on both islands. This is an initiative of the Health Care Society and is funded through a generous donation from Nu toYou. The timing of this initiative is perfect. PIFR was delivering a first aid and CPR outreach program to our front line workers and offered to assist in community training because CPR and early defibulation provide increased chance of survival from cardiac emergencies.

PIFR classes have been well received and many front line workers in our island businesses have completed training. You don’t need a lot of advanced training to contribute to a successful outcome. If you see someone collapse and there are no signs of life (breathing and pulse) call 911 and start CPR right away. If you have not practiced CPR for some time, don’t let concerns about rescue breaths stop you. Chest compressions are the priority and may keep organs alive in the first few minutes. Chest compressions should be about two inches deep. Your hands should be placed on top of each other with your shoulders square above the patient. Place hands just below the nipple line in the center of the chest. Do about 100 compressions per minute. Switch off every couple of minutes if someone is there to help. Advanced care will be there quickly so please continue until the first responders arrive. If you do compressions until we get there, it will greatly improve the chances of survival. If you know someone prone to heart attacks or would like to be confident in performing CPR and use of AEDs, give us a call at 629-3321 and we will provide a training session.

On August 17th the 100 year old fruit trees at Old Orchard farm nurtured much more than the fruit. Under those branches a community came to together to support the Fire/Rescue Cadet Camp Program in the first annual garage sale fundraiser. The volume and quality of the items donated for the sale was amazing and more than $5,000 was raised in support the 2015 Camp. Our sincerest thanks go to all who contributed items, the happy buyers, and especially to our highly motivated volunteer organizing committee. I must thank the following folks who made it so successful: Sandi Teramura, Esther and Howard Cummer, Pat Taylor and Bev Aitken, Dianne and Paul Barber, Ellie Ross, Kathy How, Bea MacDowell, Wayne and Bev Bradley, Rayna Attwood, Kathy and John Pye, Mamik and Sandy Johnson, Michel Pelletier, Pat Kordyback, Sarah and William Pye and Kevin Main.

Thanks also to our graduate cadets and firefighters who provided a shining example of the results this program produces. As I looked around the orchard I could not help but draw a parallel between the bounty of those fruit trees and our stalwart community supporting this great youth program. The Fire Rescue Cadet Camp is coordinated by Deputy Chief Mike Dine and runs bi-annually. The cadets learn and apply the core skills required for fire and rescue operations and are mentored by firefighters and community volunteers. The program focuses on values, ethics, teamwork and cooperation, conquering fears, overcoming challenges and the value volunteerism brings to community. The results have been amazing and we now have nine young camp graduates in our department and several are fully qualified to the professional standard.

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Stuart Scholefield

Support Crew

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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