Chief Charlie Boyte's report for November 2012

Michael Boyle

New recruits needed!

I would like to talk about what it would mean if we could not find enough volunteers to staff Pender’s fire halls. The reason is simple: We are seeing fewer volunteers applying each year and that is a huge long term concern.

There is a misconception about Fire and Rescue staffing. Someone from the city might assume firefighters are paid professionals and staffing the fire halls 24/7. That is a nice thought but the reality is with a limited tax base it is simply not possible without a huge burden on property owners.

So, we do the job with volunteer professionals who have been trained to exactly the same standards as the firefighters in Vancouver and Victoria. We train them to these standards because we believe the people we serve deserve competent service just as city folks do. After all you are all our friends and neighbors. We believe that when you call for help someone should arrive at your door that knows what to do.

The fact that our volunteers are willing to commit to this standard is exceptional, but the reality is that without new recruits we will be faced with a future that includes reduced service levels, higher insurance costs and less security for our families and loved ones.

If you are fit, between the ages of 15 and 50, I would really like you to seriously consider taking on the fire fighting challenge and helping your community in an enduring way. Bottom line is that emergency services are not a given in small community. If you fit in this demographic and want a secure future in our Island paradise please contact Deputy Chief Dine for an interview. The contact numbers are posted here

Fire season has ended – With the dry spell finally over our frayed nerves are starting to mellow a little. Obviously, we were just a little nervous considering we just experienced the driest period in 125 years. We are so thankful for the vigilance you have shown in preventing fires from starting. We are also proud our fire prevention programs helped get us through this period without a single human caused fire during this hazardous period on the Penders.

Burning season will be upon us by the time this article comes out and burning permits will not be required for outdoor burning. The exception is large “Class A” fires (over two meters in diameter and one meter in height and fires that are machine piled). These fires require a permit year round. Please remember to review the regulations in the CRD bylaw when burning to ensure your safety and avoid fines for illegal fires. The regulations are available on our web site.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe and within the law while burning:

Until next month – stay safe

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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