Chief Charlie Boyte's report for December 2012

Michael Boyle

“Volunteers Serving Community” are the words we live by at PIFR. Here’s what those words look like by the numbers. By November 19th your volunteers had responded to 192 emergency calls in 2012. Those calls ranged from house fires to vehicle accidents and included several lifesaving rescues and medical interventions.

In fact those calls represent a very small part of the time our volunteers spend in service to our community. A tremendous effort is required behind the scenes to make effective emergency response possible. More than 18,000 hours were logged in 2011 by PIFR volunteers.

Our volunteer workforce allows us to provide a wide range of services at an affordable cost. That means our families, friends and community can be assured that when something bad happens, they can call for help and someone will always come that knows what to do.

We set staffing levels for our volunteer force based on more than 100 years of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) data. That data indicates that day and night 50 per cent of the volunteer workforce should be able to immediately respond to an emergency. When the number of volunteers falls below recommended levels it results volunteer burnout. When our volunteers are over worked our ability to retain trained volunteers declines.

Our goal is to stay ahead of the burnout curve. That is why last month we called for help to carry the load. If you are industrious, caring, and physically fit, we would like you to consider the opportunity to re-deploy some of your time. In exchange for that commitment we offer a wonderful opportunity to partner with some great people to help keep your families and friends safe.

Here is the challenge: You trade six months of your regular Saturday activities to study, learn, and challenge yourself physically. Then we give you a pager so you can help as your time permits. Over the next year and a half we offer the opportunity to serve your community and earn an accredited certificate to the internationally recognized NFPA 1001 firefighter standard. This certificate can cost up to $16,000 for tuition and living costs if acquired at an accredited training facility off the island.

If you are up to the challenge call Deputy Chief Mike Dine at 250-629-3321 or visit helping PIFR to learn more.

On the safety front … as the fall winds begin to blow and the ground gets wet there is an increase in trees falling on, or across the roads. Please be vigilant as these trees often bring down power lines and they may not be clearly visible. Stay at least 10 meters back and call 911 immediately. Downed lines can be lethal. Never assume the power is off. In many cases BC Hydro has automatic switches in place to restore power. Hydro lines can be reenergised without notice and there may be no visible signs that they are alive. Home generators may also energise these lines when installed incorrectly.

As the days become shorter and the rain sets in, it is increasingly difficult for emergency crews to find you when you call for help. Please make sure your address is clearly visible from both directions at the driveway entrance - day and night. Have a look next time you come home on a rainy night. If you can’t see the number there’s a darn good chance we won’t either. Missed addresses can mean the difference between life and death.

Until next month stay safe.

Fire Chief Charlie Boyte


Forest Fire Threat Level

No open burning

 

member

Stuart Scholefield

Engineer
Support Crew

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911

Non-Emergency:

250 629-3321

administration@
penderfire.ca

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