Salt Spring Fire Rescue (SSIFR) responded to 71 Incidents for the month of July.
Due to dry and hot weather, SSIFR declared a full fire ban July 18, in an effort to reduce human-caused fires on the island. Since July 12th Salt Spring Island has maintained a steady “Extreme” Fire danger.
Work is underway enhancing the front office at fire hall one in Ganges. The small improvements will create a more welcoming entrance with better access to fire and life safety educational information.
With the dry conditions and low humidity several mulch fires were reported due to improperly discarded smoking materials. A ‘No Tossed Butts’ campaign will launch in August in an effort to bring awareness to improperly discarded butts and the risk they pose for our island.
July 14th, Firefighters responded to a two-vehicle motor vehicle incident (MVI) on Long Harbour with extensive vehicle damage and multiple patients. Long Harbour Road was closed for several hours for patient care and an RCMP investigation.
After a six month leave of absence, Firefighter Alex Reid has officially retired from Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue and has successfully completed his probation period with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services (VFRS). We wish Alex all the best and a long career with VFRS.
Congratulations to Lt Eric Taylor and Danielle Head on their spectacular marriage proposal during a fire training session. Congratulations!
Our annual training weekend (Training in Paradise) was another great success with 114 firefighters from all over BC and the United States. Thirty-five separate fire departments joined us for four days of fire and rescue training. By providing this valuable training on-island we are able to deliver more affordable training to our department and reduce the time away from our community and our families.
We hosted a workshop focusing on Health and Wellness for our firefighters and families. This holistic approach will provide full support and education both physically and mentally to our firefighters and our families.
On July 3rd Salt Spring Island Fire Fighters joined other island responders for a full scale multi-agency Hazardous Materials (HazMat) scenario and multi casualty mock incident. The scenario identified our strengths and weaknesses in regards to a multi casualty event involving hazardous materials. We would like to thank the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program, and the great volunteers who assisted us by being excellent patients.
Our awesome community volunteers who helped make the scenario very realistic.
Inspection and Fire and Life Safety Education
We conducted a Canadian Red Cross Certified Emergency First-Aid class for ArtSpring ushers and duty managers on July 8th. Seven members of the public attended this important training session. We also assisted a new family with one car-seat installation with the guidance from our ICBC car seat technicians.
In conjunction with the new BC Ambulance Community Paramedic program we co-hosted a successful bike safety camp that covered bike and helmet safety along with road safety for new young riders.
Under strict conditions, we issued several special-exemption permits for open burning and high-risk activities during the extreme fire conditions. Each of these permits involved an inspection and education with permit holders to ensure vigilance and fire-safety.
SSIFR members inspected, tested and filled the 10,000-gallon tank at Ruckle Park on July 17 to ensure adequate water supply in the Provincial park.
Arjuna George, Fire Chief