Response Report – Salt Spring Island Fire rescue (SSIFR) responded to 34 incidents in November totaling 633 incidents from January 1-November 30, 2018. These incidents included: 2 Chimney fires, 8 medical calls, 6 MVI (motor vehicle incidents), 3 Rescues (1 rope/high/confined, 1 elevator, 1 animal), 5 Calls for assistance, 3 Open burns, 2 Beach fires, 1 Tree on lines, 4 Alarm Bells (2 residential, I commercial, and 1 carbon monoxide alarm)
Operations Update – Every fall, Mainroads Contracting organizes a meeting with other emergency response agencies to prepare for the winter season. This year, the meeting was held on November 7th, and SSIFR attended, along with other local emergency preparedness agencies. Initial weather forecasts predict a low snow year but potentially heavy rain and wind.
On Nov 28th the Alert Ready Emergency Notification system was tested in BC. The Alert Ready system is Canada’s emergency alerting system. Alert Ready delivers critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians through television, radio and LTE-connected and compatible wireless devices. Our region’s CRD Emergency Program also has a more local notification system in place called the Public Alert Notification System (PANS).
Membership – Recruit Firefighter Process update. SSIFR received 14 Paid-On-Call (POC) Firefighter applications and two Field Incident Technician (FIT) applications. All 14 Firefighter candidates were invited to the 2nd stage, the Firefighter Physical Test on Nov 17, 2018. Stage three, the panel interview, was held held November 20, 21 and 22 for 12 POC Firefighter applicants and the two FIT applicants. Final administration steps are underway. Successful applicants will receive an offer for a position in December for a January 2019 start date.
Also in November, all staff performance reviews were completed by management with a year end staff meeting scheduled for December 10th.
Training – November was a busy training month, with over 626 hours of training offered to the team on both basic skills as well as advanced skills maintenance. Some of the areas of focus were Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) operations, firehose management, Incident Command and electrical safety. (The focus on electrical safety is important this time of the year with an influx of storm related incidents, including hydro fires and downed power lines. Last year, SSIFR responded to 67 Hydro-related incidents.)
The recruits of 2018 focused on preparing for their Live Fire Evaluations. Four consecutive drills were dedicated strictly to preparing for Live Fire I certification at Pender Island’s new state-of-the-art Live Fire Training Centre.
During the month, advanced training on Technical Rope Rescue Pickoffs, Hazardous Materials, Pump Theory and an Auto Extrication scenario were also offered.
Inspection and Fire and Life Safety Education – November was another busy month for the fire-prevention staff. We held several events and had numerous interactions with the community. These events included:
- One highlight was attending the Flu Clinic on Friday, November 23. Firefighters visited with 120 islanders to discuss fall prevention, FireSmart and other fire-safety tips while they recovered after their inoculations.
- We attended Family Place (a resource centre for young families) to conduct a car-seat clinic for 28 parents and children. In addition to discussing best practices and car-seat safety, firefighters inspected and installed five car seats at this event. Firefighters also inspected and installed two other car-seats by appointment at the Ganges Firehall. We had a visit from 16 students and adults from a home-school program on November 28. SSIFR also hosted 11 guests from Phoenix Elementary for a hall tour and education session.
- SSIFR also held four CPR classes for Grade 9 students at GISS (with approximately 25 students in each class) on November 8, 14, 20 and 26.
- As a final note, two SSIFR staff attended a Public Education Symposium in Nanaimo on November 6 and heard presentations from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) staff and regional colleagues regarding new developments in Fire and Life Safety Education.
SSIFR received an additional donation from the Lions Club of Salt Spring Island for $1,500 on top of their previous donation of $500 for the SSIFR Smoke Alarm Program. The support from the local Lions Club makes it possible for us to help members of our community make fire prevention a priority. To date, we have been able to provide 22 smoke alarms to residents of Pioneer Village and six to families in need. The support from Lions Club will go a long way toward keeping our community safe.
A total of seven commercial fire and life safety inspections were conducted, along with 15 Fire Department Connection’s (FDC), one driveway inspection, one plan review and two Subdivision reviews.