Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2019 May

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.

Response Report

Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to 61 calls for assistance in May.  (Calls to Date:  291)


To be proactive regarding wildfire prevention a recommendation was submitted to the local Islands Trust Committee to consider adding a Wildfire Hazard Development Permit Area (DPA) with in the Salt Spring Island Official Community Plan.  An effective Wildfire Hazard DPA would consider such things as building construction materials, and FireSmart principles.

Our past month we have concentrated our efforts to wildfire response conducted several training sessions and courses to ensure our members are response ready for this summers fire season.  The Province of BC recently posted their summer forecast and our region has been highlighted as an area predicted to be above normal fire conditions.


May 17th Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to a Residential Structure fire in the 100 block of Thomas Road.  The call came in at 04:37 after a neighbour spotted the garage on fire.  Battalion 1 was first on scene at 04:47 followed by Engine 1 at 04:53.   Fire crews made an aggressive fire attack protecting the main residence.  The garage received extensive damage, but the main house received only slight exterior damage.  The occupants were asleep at the time of the fire and were awoken by their vigilant neighbour.  No injuries were reported.  The fire was investigated, and the cause was accidental-undetermined.




Insert Chart 4-Membership

On behalf of the Salt Spring Island Fire Fighters and staff we would like to thank the Board of Trustees for hosting our annual Awards Night on International Firefighters Day (May 4th).  During the event we had the opportunity to honour some our members milestones.

  • NFPA 1001 Firefighter I/II Certification: Josh Lindstrom
  • Most Dedicated to Fire and Life Safety Award to Nancy Purssell for her work in education and emergency preparedness.
  • Most Dedicated to Training award presented to Firefighter Bodhi Van Britsom
  • Most Dedicated to Incidents award presented to Firefighter Patrick Byrne.
  • Rookie of the Year awarded to Firefighter Krystal Capranos
  • Fire Officer of the Year presented to Captain Peter Andress.

2 Years of Service: Duncan Kenny, Bree Herbert, Dayten Sanders, Bodhi Van Britsom, Cyrus Andress,

Dan Smith, AJ Hastie, Cameron Sweet and Krystal Capranos

5 Years of Service: Scott Chapman, Campbell Jackson, Neil Martin, Tom McCormick and Ben Westlake

10 Years of Service: Cody Hunsberger, Grant Gussie and Jim Pohl

25 Years of Service:  We had the honour to present Lieutenant Ken Akerman with the Canadian Exemplary Long Service Medal for 25 years of service with Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue.

Insert Photo 3 25 Year Award Ken Akerman

It is an honour to officially present the successful Fire Officer candidates for SSIFR.

Congratulations to our newest Captain, Peter Andress, Lieutenant Jason Gaffney and our three new acting Lieutenants Chantelle Pohl, Ben Westlake and Dustin Bean.


Insert Image Training Hours

Our Firefighters dedicated numerous hours this past month focusing on First Responder skills, Auto Extrication, and Mental Health Resiliency for our members and families.   Three test drills were conducted drafting ocean water from the Ganges Harbour.  The training and tests are part of a grading proposal to Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) and as a backup operation in the event of a major event that taxes our Ganges core water distribution system.

Recruits are progressing into their second half of basic training focusing on the hose module and Fire Streams and Appliances.

Our CRD Hazmat Tech, Auto X, Water Recue, and Pump teams all trained in May.

Additional courses we hosted included Basic Forestry S-100, Hazmat Operations and Safe Operation of Vehicles.

Inspection and Fire and Life Safety Education

Fire Inspections                                               

14 Fire/Life Safety Inspections

3 New Project Reviews

4 Site Consultations

Fire & Life Safety Education: 572 Community Outreach participants

Our Fire and Life Safety Educators met with 572 members of the community on several key interests.

  • We held two fire extinguisher training sessions.
  • We hosted a chipping event in partnership with the SSI Conservancy for their Cut Broom in Bloom campaign.
  • We hosted several fire hall and truck education sessions to school groups.
  • We attended Family Place (a resource centre for young families) and met with participants (children and adults) about water safety, poisonous plants, and heat-related medical emergencies.
  • The Garner Road Emergency Preparedness Pod invited us to attend their broom-clearing event on May 18. They had won one of the $500 FireSmart Canada grants to support this event.
  • We attended the PARTY program (Prevent Alcohol Related Trauma in Youth) in conjunction with partners from BCAS, RCMP and VIHA on May 28 and 29. We had 113 participants learn about vehicle safety, and injury prevention.
  • We attended Ruckle Farm Day where our educators discussed FireSmart education and summer safety.
  • We hosted the Emergency Preparedness Fair on May 11 in conjunction with SSIGSAR, SSIMSAR, and the Emergency Preparedness Program.

Respectfully Submitted

Arjuna George

Fire Chief

June 20, 2019 11:32 AM

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