Chief Charlie Boyte's report for December 2013

Michael Boyle

It is hard to believe another year will soon be over. The colder weather is on our doorstep and with the holiday season rapidly approaching many of you are likely scurrying to prepare for the festivities ahead. Accidents are much more likely to happen when you are in a rush so please try to take that extra minute to double check for fire hazards when you leave the house or head out to catch that ferry.

Electric heaters, wood stoves, clothes dryers, stoves, and portable appliances such as curling irons and toaster ovens are often the cause of house fires through this season. When these devices are monitored and used safely they can keep us warm and comfortable, however, left unattended they can take the Ho-Ho out of the holiday season. There are some great safety tips to help you stay safe over the winter season. These are available on the NFPA website and can be found at Please visit this site to see how you can keep your loved ones and valued possessions safe this winter.

One sure way to ruin your holiday season it is to stuff your fireplace full of discarded Christmas wrapping. Our volunteers have been called away from their Christmas festivities several times to fight chimney or house fires started from this dangerous practice.

And, please ensure the family is up to speed on Christmas tree safety. Position those trees well away from heaters. Make sure they are well watered because they are extremely flammable when dry. Never leave lights on unattended. Extension cords must be in good repair. Often they overheat. Visit to witness how fast a dry tree can burn. You must make sure your smoke alarms work and that everyone in the house has an escape plan that includes two ways out. If your smoke alarms sound get out of the house and call 911 from a safe location.

On October 31, PIFR again hosted the annual Halloween bon fire and costume parade. Every year on this night hundreds of children across the country are injured and there is a significant increase in structure fires due to vandalism and carless use of fireworks. However, in the 41-year history of our event we have not had a child injury on the Penders. This event is designed to collect our little ghosts and goblins in a safe location, away from traffic so they can have fun by the crackling fire. Many thanks to all those that helped out: all the members of PIFR that helped with the bonfire and traffic safety, Tru Value Foods and PAC for the candy and goodie bags, the Lions Club for cooking the hot dogs, Rob for the hay, and especially to Kelly and her team Greg and Alaia for decorating the fire hall. Once again, Debbie our office administrator came through to pull it all together and ensure a spooktacular night.

In December we will be assisting the food bank with a drive on the 7th in front of Tru Value Foods at the Driftwood Center and also collecting funds to support the Santa Ship when it comes to Hope Bay on the 14th. We look forward to your continued support to ensure our neighbours in need are looked after over the holiday season.

Our sincerest of gratitude goes to the Pender Island Fire Protection Society and the Board of Directors, the unsung heroes of our organization. They freely give of their time and expertise to ensure the services we deliver meet the needs and expectations of the community. Our sincerest of thanks and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season to you all.

Our special thanks also to the wonderful volunteer crew that publishes the Pender Post and gives us space each month to get our message out to so many islanders. We feel very fortunate to live and serve in this wonderful community. Finally, we wish you all a safe and wonderful holiday season and a happy, safe and prosperous 2014.

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Julie Gray

First Responder

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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