Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue responded to 47 Incidents in January 2018. They were: 13 BC Hydro incidents - 2 fires, 6 lines down, and 5 trees on fire; 11 medical responses; 7 requests for assistance; 3 structure fires - 1 commercial and 2 chimney; 3 motor vehicle incidents; 5 alarm bells (4 commercial); 1 hazmat incident; 3 open burns; and 1 elevator rescue.
In the early hours of January 23,,our region was notified of a possible tsunami as a result of the large 8.0 magnitude earthquake off Alaska. Both the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program and SSIFR were were on high alert and readiness, but no action was required. It was quickly confirmed that the Gulf Islands were not affected, and there was minimal risk to our region. To further prepare for any future incidents, SSIFR will be working with our local emergency program to revisit our response plan and to ensure that Salt Springers are aware of this plan.
I would like to thank the Board of Trustees, staff, and the community who came and actively participated in a great conversation January 24 at our Town Hall meeting. Several initiatives were discussed and some excellent feedback and suggestions were made during this public meeting.
On January 27, SSIFR Management and Trustees met with a representative of Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) at Fire Hall #1 to discuss areas in which we can improve. This four-hour meeting provided us with valuable direction and support.
With the addition of our 12 new Paid-On-Call recruit firefighters, our department is now comprised of 53 members. Recruits’ first month was focused on our department’s culture and firefighter safety, important building blocks to achieving their NFPA 1001 FF2 Firefighter Standard and Certification.
Public Education Division
Our Fire and Life Safety team taught 12 more Gulf Island Secondary School students in CPR/AED as part of the ongoing Real 9 program. As these CPR skills are critical for a healthier island, the more who know this life-saving skill, the better.
As part of our ongoing fire and life safety initiatives, we also taught 12 Fernwood school staff members Emergency First Aid and 10 parents at the Family Place basic fire and life safety tips.
On January 9, we hosted our 3rd Annual Christmas Tree chipping event at Fire Hall #3. This year we collected over 70 trees and raised $330.00 in donations for the SSI Community Services Foodbank. The tree chipping program allows residents to safely discard of their dry, dead trees without burning them. For the past three years we have partnered with Salt Spring Island Tree Chipping staff who donate their time, allowing us to provide this very affordable alternative to burning.
Our Fire Inspectors completed 18 commercial inspections, one Pre-Incident Plan, one Fire Safety Plan review, and one Subdivision consultation. We recently launched our new Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue website. The new site has a fresh, new look and is easy to navigate. Please check back regularly for news, updates, and valuable fire and life safety information.