Chief Charlie Boyte's report for December 2011

Michael Boyle

It is hard to believe another year will soon be over. The colder weather is on our doorstep and the holiday season is rapidly approaching and many of you are scurrying to prepare for the festivities ahead.

Accidents are much more likely to happen when you are in a rush, so please plan ahead and give yourself a little extra time to double check for household fire hazards.

Electric heaters, wood stoves, clothes dryers, stoves, and portable appliances such as curling irons and toaster ovens often are found to be the cause of house fires. When these devices are monitored and used safely they can keep us warm and comfortable, however, left unattended these items can be lethal.

There are a lot of great tips to keep you safe over the winter months. Many of these can be found at Please visit this site to see how you can keep your loved ones and valued possessions safe this winter. There are some great short videos for you big kids paying the mortgages and grocery bills, and many for younger kids as well.

Halloween was a smashing success again this year with close to 200 people in attendance. Our fire hall event is designed to collect our little ghosts and goblins in a safe location, away from traffic and allow them have fun together by the crackling fire. Every year on this night hundreds of children across the country are injured and maimed by traffic and fireworks. Most areas also see a significant increase in structure fires due to vandalism and carless use of fireworks. In the 40+ year history of this event on the Penders we have not ever had a child injury or structure fire on Halloween night.

This success story is made possible by our great partners in the community that sponsor the event. Special thanks to Tru Value Foods, PAC, Pender Island Lions Club, Dockside Reality, Rob Southey and all the volunteer firefighters that make the event possible.

It has truly been a great year at Pender Island Fire Rescue. I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and congratulations for my Canadian Volunteer Chief of the Year award. Gordon Souter, President Pender Islands Fire Protection Society and I attended a presentation Nov. 16th to see our Deputy Chief Michael Dine presented with the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for his exceptional contribution to Public Safety. This award was presented to Michael for his talented and passionate work in developing our training, fire prevention and the cadet programs. The award was certainly well deserved and we are all very proud of our Deputy Chief and the great work he does to keep us, and this community safe.

These awards are a great honour for Mike and me personally, but even more so for our exceptional volunteers and the Board of Directors that support us all in our work. Without the exceptional efforts and commitment of these wonderful people, neither award would have been possible. They are a remarkable group, and the honour is truly theirs.

Pender Island Fire Rescue has also received the Islands Trust 2011 Stewardship Award, presented by Trustee Gary Steeves. This award recognizes outstanding work to serve and protect the Islands. I believe this is the first time this award has gone to a fire department. I am so proud of all the members of PIFR for their exceptional work to preserve and protect our community.

I would like to say a special thanks to the Pender Post team. You do a wonderful job publishing community news and getting our message out to so many Islanders. We sincerely thank you for the great work you do for this community and wish you the very best for the holiday season.

This year we will again be assisting the food bank with a drive in December at the Driftwood Center. Please watch for our volunteers and give them your support to make the Christmas season special for our neighbours in need.

Finally, on behalf of all of the dedicated volunteers and staff at Pender Island Fire Rescue, we wish you all a happy and safe holiday season and all the best for 2012.  

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Braedon Bigham

Technical Rescue

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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