Deputy Chief Mike Dine’s Report for December 2009

Michael Boyle

I have always felt that the single most important element of our mandate is that of fire prevention. That is why the volunteers here at Pender Island Fire Rescue were so proud last month to receive the “Al Lonneberg Fire Safety & Public Education Award” in recognition of our wildfire prevention program at the BC Ferries Swartz Bay Terminal in the summer.

Awarded by the Volunteer Firefighter’s Association of British Columbia, the judges were impressed by the fact that our leading edge program takes a compelling fire prevention message to a captive audience – the traveling public, full and part-time Gulf Island residents and vacationers – at the ferry terminal.

As your deputy fire chief, responsible for the annual program, it was a reminder that every moment we invest in safeguarding the community through education and awareness has the potential to save a life and avoid devastating property damage.

With December upon us and the Holiday Season just around the corner, I want to remind everyone of the value of monitored smoke alarm systems. Most homes on Pender have smoke alarms, but they are of little use when we are away from our homes.

A fire can smoulder undetected in a vacant home for hours before it is noticed by a neighbour or passerby. Usually the alarm is raised when flames and smoke are bursting through the roof. By then, there is little any fire department can do to save the structure.

If that same house is equipped with a monitored smoke detection system, our volunteers save many precious minutes in response time and have a much better chance of containing the blaze to its point of origin.

We are very proud of our response time on Pender. But, this is not the big city. We do not operate a department with fire crew sleeping at the fire hall overnight. So, every advantage we have to shave minutes off our response time is precious. Monitored smoke alarm systems give us that advantage.

Sprinkler systems are also beneficial. These systems are sophisticated with only the sprinkler at the fire’s point of origin becoming active. Fires can be quickly contained and water damage is minimal. Please give these in home fire prevention options serious consideration, particularly if you are an absentee owner.

On behalf Fire Chief Charlie Boyte and all the dedicated volunteers here at Pender Island Fire Rescue, I want to wish you Happy Holidays.

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Charles Boyte

Fire Chief

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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