Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2019 November


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Response Report

Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to 54 calls for assistance in November.


As part of our ongoing community education and outreach SSIFR hosted the 1st series of Salt Spring Island Emergency Resiliency Training (SSERT) for the community organized by the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program.  The first session was a great success with over 20 community members partaking in four nights of resiliency training.  The skills they learned will help them and our community be better prepared for emergencies.  The next series of SSERT will be held in December and registration is already full.  With the success and interest from the community there will be future SSERT classes offered thanks to the support of the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program.

Management met with Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) this past month in preparation for the 2020 FUS Fire Service Review.  The productive meeting led to some action items that will help us operationally as well as possible assist in improving our rating and lowering our risk.  (See Fire Underwriters Staff Report Dec 16, 2019)

In preparation for the winter storm season we have begun the process of installing portable generators at each station.  Fire Hall’s 2 and 3 will have a portable generator capable of operating most electrical systems in the halls.  Fire Hall 1 did not meet the BC Electrical inspectors’ requirements for installing a portable generator into the hall without substantial electrical upgrades.  Hall 1 will be equipped with a portable generator but will only power specific items through extension cords.

Hall 1 Roof update.  In order to investigate the requirements to fix the Hall 1 roof, an Asbestos abatement company has been obtained for 2 days to make 6 inspection ports in the fire hall ceilings.  Once completed Engineers will assess the roof structure and provide opinions on the next steps for repairing the roof.

In November SSIFR made an application to UBCM for the Volunteer & Composite Fire Department Equipment & Training grant under the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund.  The application was submitted to assist with a project improving the Simulations Building prop at Fire Hall 2.  This grant will assist us in improving our simulation building providing firefighters will real life firefighting experience using interior staircases.  The grant is for $25,000 and all applicants should be notified by March 2020.


Our dedicated members trained on numerous disciplines over the month of November including:

  • First Responder Training
  • Auto Extrication
  • Fire Control
  • Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)
  • Fire Hose Management (Nozzles Forward)
  • FUS Tender Shuttle Testing (3 Successful tests)
  • Ground Ladders
  • Live Fire
  • Emergency Operations Centre
  • Mental Health
  • Pump Operations

Seven of our members had the opportunity to take Emergency Operations Centre Essentials (2 Day Course) thanks to the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program and the generous support of the Salt Spring Island Foundation.  This course provided essential tools to better prepare responders for large scale emergencies.


Many of our SSIFR members were nominated for the 2019 Salt Spring Island Salty Awards for Top First Responder.  In November Acting Lieutenant Chantelle Pohl was awarded the Top First Responder award from the Community.  Congratulations A/Lt Pohl and to all those nominated.

This past month former CAO Andrew Peat retired and on behalf of Management, staff and our firefighters, we wish Andrew all the best and appreciate his leadership over the past five years.  Thank you, Andrew all the best in your retirement.

Inspection and Fire and Life Safety Education

Fire Inspections

17 Fire/Life Safety Inspections, 3 Site Consultations.

Fire & Life Safety Education: 225 Community Outreach participants

Another busy month for the SSIFR Fire and Life Safety Education team:

  • We partnered with SSI Emergency Services to teach 25 participants Emergency Resilience Training over four sessions between Nov. 13-21. SSIFR instructors taught disaster first aid, fire extinguishers, vehicle rescue and various disaster response skills.
  • We attended the Flu Clinic at Community Gospel Church to teach fall and fire prevention themes to 75 attendees.
  • We taught 13 volunteers how to use fire-extinguishers at SSI Therapeutic Riding.
  • We taught three more CPR/AED classes to Grade-9 students at GISS with 25 attendees per session.
  • We made a presentation regarding Fall and Fire Safety to 15 participants at the Canadian Federation of University Women.
  • We attended a CRD-sponsored Climate Risk workshop to update the Climate Action Plan for SSI on Nov. 21.
  • We attended the early Learning Families Program at SSE and Fernwood schools to provide education about car-seat safety for 37 parents and children. We also assisted a local family to install two car-seats safely.
  • Four members of the SSIFR F & LSE team attended a Public Education Symposium hosted in Nanaimo.
  • And we attended GISS to promote the Gulf Island Fire Cadet Camp with 12 attendees interested in joining the Cadets camp.

Respectfully Submitted

Arjuna George
Fire Chief

January 21, 2020 2:39 PM

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