Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2019 April

Vision: A responsive and sustainable fire-rescue service, effectively meeting community needs and valued by those we serve. Mission: Always learning, engaging and adapting to be response ready.

On behalf of the Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue organization I would like to thank Trustee and outgoing Chairperson Per Svendsen for his fantastic leadership to the board and the department.  I would also like to recognize outgoing Trustee’s Howard Baker and Chris Budd for their service to the community while welcoming new Trustees Jo MacDonald and Andreas Gedeon. Finally, I would like to congratulate Trustee Ron Lindstrom on his new role as the Chair.  I look forward to working together as we move into a new and exciting generation of our fire service.

Response Report

Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to an above average 64 calls for assistance in April.

Unfortunately, the beautiful town landmark Eucalyptus has died in front of Hall 1 and will be removed in the coming weeks.  The suspected cause is that the root system may have entered the ocean sea water poisoning the tree.


We are very excited to hear that at least two of our local neighbourhoods have received $500 Grant’s from FireSmart Canada to conduct fuel mitigation.  Congratulations to the Garner Road and the Long Harbour Road communities on receiving FireSmart grants to help mitigate our fuel and wildfire risk.

Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue with the help of the CRD, were successful in receiving a $25,000 grant from the Community Resiliency Investment Program administered by the Province.  Our proposal for the FireSmart funds was detailed as:  Community Education, Interagency Cooperation, Emergency Planning, Cross Training, FireSmart demonstrations and Fuel and Vegetation Management.  This new grant will assist in our proactive actions to reduce wildfire risk on Salt Spring Island and to ensure the community and our members are informed, trained and properly outfitted.

The Wildfire Community Resiliency Committee (WCRC) met in April to review our local Wildfire Protection Plan, grant funding, island mapping and pre wildfire planning.  This newly formed committee has been formed to form proactive steps towards reducing our islands wildfire risk.

Apparatus Extension for Engine 2 was submitted for review.  The 1997 Fire Engine was granted a 1-year extension in 2018.  A second request for an extension for 2019 has now been submitted for review by Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS).


On April 23rd SSIFR responded to a fully involved structure fire on Blackburn Road.  The extensive fire also included several vehicles, and a motor home.  Firefighters shuttled water from Cranberry Road to the fire.  No firefighter or civilian injuries were reported, but unfortunately the families pet dog perished in the fire.  The fire investigation was managed by RCMP and the cause has yet to be determined.  Our thoughts go out to the family as they deal with a significant loss.


Following a very successful Gulf Islands Cadet Camp we are excited to announce that nine of the camp graduates have joined SSIFR as Junior Firefighters.  Junior Firefighters who have successfully completed the G.I. Cadet camp and who are still underage to join as a full member now have the opportunity to continue their training in the hopes of recruiting them in the future while supporting our youth in important life skills.  The Junior Firefighters will be training with our members but will not be responding as regular Paid-On-Call Firefighters.  We welcome these amazing young adults to our team.


Salt Spring Island Firefighters had a rare opportunity to have the Canadian National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Public Education Director visit the island for two back to back workshops.  The workshops focused on new techniques and tools for improving our Fire and Life Safety Community Education.

Our Auto Extrication Team held a very challenging heavy rescue scenario.  The crews were challenged by the heavy-duty vehicle used, and severe damage to the passenger vehicle making access and extraction difficult to manage.  Our team did an excellent job and will continue on this skill next month.

Our Fire and Life Safety Educators met with 125 members of the community on several key interests.

  • Our Educators in partnership with BCAS, RCMP and VIHA’s public health nurse conducted a drug and alcohol safety session to fifty high school students.
  • Our Fire Educators attended Family Place helping new parents learn CPR, first aid and basic summer emergencies.
  • Our Firefighters conducted several fire hall tours and two pre-school educational safety sessions.
  • Our certified child car seat technicians assisted in the safe installation of three (3) child car seats.

Cut Broom in Bloom

Sunday, June 2nd at Fire Hall #2 in Fulford we will be hosting our 2nd Cut Broom in Bloom drop off.  The event hosted by SSIFR in partnership with the Salt Spring Island Conservancy will be from 10-4.  This program has been very successful with mass amounts of broom being properly discarded and chipped.

Respectfully Submitted,

Arjuna George
Fire Chief

May 28, 2019 11:13 AM

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