A Year-end Update from Pender Islands Fire Protection Society

As President of the Pender Islands Fire Protection Society (PIFPS) I want to thank our dedicated team of volunteer firefighters, support members and the committed staff of Pender Island Fire Rescue (PIFR). With the completion of a banner year 2014, I also want to thank the generous donors who have opened their hearts and made significant contributions and the Pender community for its continued support and dedication.

I would like to take this opportunity to update the community on two key events of 2014:

The Training Facility

With generous donations from the Pender community and a matching grant from the Conconi Foundation, we were able to raise $215,672 to complete Phase Two of the PIFR training facility. The training facility is essential to ensure we continue to meet rigorous fire services standards mandated by the province. It will equip us to respond effectively and efficiently during fire and other emergency events on the island. Our responders need be well trained and feel confident about their skills to respond to all forms of emergencies, save lives and protect community assets. A comprehensive training ensures not only the safety and well-being of our 40-plus volunteer responders but also the public they serve.

This year our fire and rescue service responded to more than 200 emergency calls. Feedback clearly indicates our community is in good hands. I am also very pleased to report there were no injuries to our responders.

The hybrid model that we have adopted for PIFR on Pender is based on four full-time staff members in the fire department who coordinate and facilitate the work of almost 100 volunteers. Fully staffing and equipping three fire halls on Pender with full time firefighters 24/7 would cost approximately $7.2 million per year. Our hybrid model provides comprehensive and high quality services using highly trained volunteers at a fractional cost of just $882,000.

The volunteer model allows high levels of affordable service to our rural community but it also means that response times could be slightly longer than in the city. This is a consequence of volunteer assembly time and travel distances in rural areas. Response times on Pender are typically 8 to 12 minutes for medical calls and 12 to 14 for fire calls. These times conform to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for response in rural areas and will be achievable 80% of the time. NFPA stipulates that weather, travel distance or other factors may result in longer time frames for the remaining 20% of incidents.

Replacement Fire Truck

In 2014 we also took delivery of a new fire truck better suited for the loads it must carry. It incorporates features and functions required to meet modern firefighting regulations and standards. The truck will replace an aging unit that is no longer suitable to carry the personnel and equipment required.

Like everything else in our lives, technological obsolescence, wear and tear and equipment failure do creep in over a period of time. The PIFPS board proactively ensures that capital funds are set aside annually to accommodate these situations. The board places these funds in restricted accounts with the sole purpose to replace aging equipment and improve facilities. The new truck is fully funded from the reserve funds created over the last several years.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me or any of our board members (contact information is provided below or via the PIFR Admin). You can always contact the Fire Chief, Charlie Boyte (chief@penderfire.ca/250 629 3321) or the Administration Office (administration@penderfire.ca) of PIFR. We would also like to hear from you if you have any suggestions or recommendations about how we may better serve the community and further enhance the effectiveness of the Society and PIFR. Our regular board meetings are open to the public and we welcome your participation.

I will post an update like this two or three times a year in the Pender Post, on the PIFR website and on our Facebook page to ensure you are aware of key events and achievement of the Society and PIFR. However, if you would rather have a copy sent to you via e-mail or post, please let the PIFR Administration know.

The board members of the society and the staff of the PIFR wish you and your family a very joyous and safe 2015.


Gordon Souter


Forest Fire Threat Level

No open burning



Scott Elliott

Fire Fighter 2
Technical Rescue

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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