SSIFR responded to 63 Incidents for the month of December. The final statistics for 2017 ended the year with 701 calls for assistance, making 2017 the district’s 3rd busiest year in Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue history.
SSIFR finished off the year with a response-heavy December due to an increase in weather related events (snow and ice). One Dec 19th Firefighters responded to a hectic 24 incidents in 24 hours.
Responders attended 21 Hydro-related incidents in December; three resulting in fires, 13 with lines down, and five with trees on power lines. Electrical emergencies are common during storm season and extreme caution should be taken around downed power lines.
We also experienced an increase in structure related events with a total of 25 in 2017.
Fire Permits expire December 31st, 2017. Fire permits are available January 1st 2018 in person at the Ganges Fire Hall or online at www.saltspringfire.com Fire permits are valid for one year and are required year-round. Permits, regulations, and Bylaw No.125 are available on our webpage.
On December 26th, Firefighters responded to smoke in a commercial structure in downtown Ganges. The fire was a result of an electrical issue in the main electrical room. No fire or smoke damage occurred beyond the room of origin.
On December 27th, Firefighters attended a fully involved structure fire on Musgrave Road. Fourteen Firefighters attended the fire using over 9,000 gallons of water to fully extinguish it. The fire was investigated and the cause was undetermined. No occupants were home at the time of the fire, and no injuries to firefighters were reported.
We are excited to announce that all 12 new recruits have successfully completed the stages of recruitment and have accepted positions as Paid-On-Call firefighters starting in January 2018.
We are enthusiastic to launch a new Work Experience Program (WEP) initiative and have accepted David Mathieson as our 2018 WEP student. David joins us from Victoria and is a fully certified NFPA 1001 Firefighter with several special operations certifications as well. The work experience program provides students with hands on skills maintenance training as well as providing SSIFR with additional support operationally.
Starting in January 2018, SSIFR firefighter Alex Reid will be joining Vancouver Fire Rescue Services as a 2018 recruit candidate. Alex joined SSIFR in 2014 and has been a key component to our team and our operations. We are all very proud of his accomplishments and wish him the best in his new career serving the citizens of Vancouver.
Inspection and Public Education Division
SSIFR held a very successful “Burn It Smart” workshop to teach wood heating safety at the SSI Library with 70 participants in conjunction with SSI Conservancy, Dave Campbell (of Dave the Chimney Sweep), Richard Elwell (of Home Design Centre) and Paul Konig (of Konig and Son Firewood). Chimney fires attributed to 48% of our structure related incidents in 2017.
Our Public Education team taught four Canadian Red Cross certified classes for 24 students as part of the Real 9 programme at GISS as well as assisting with four child car seat installations, and teaching a session on poison safety to parents at Family Place.
SSIFR inspected eight commercial buildings including six re-inspections for fire and life safety as well as reviewing three Fire Safety Plans, three new subdivision plans, and three water tank inspections.
I would like to thank the administration staff, our Corporate Administrator Andrew Peat, our Fire Department membership and our Board of Trustees for their continued dedication and hard work in providing excellent public safety to the citizens of Salt Spring Island.
Consider Attending the Upcoming Fire Trustees Special Town Hall
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at Lions Hall, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:30, and light refreshments will be served.