The Board and the Advisory Committee are keenly aware of the impact of COVID-19 on the local community and the economy in planning for a replacement for the Ganges Fire Hall – the main hall and operations centre for the Island’s emergency response. We are doing the research necessary to identify actions and options and will continue to inform and engage the community in the process. As recently announced, the community volunteer-based Fire Rescue Advisory Committee and the Board of Trustees reviewed the two detailed technical reports on the status of the Ganges Fire Hall. Both reports provide conclusive evidence that the building nor the physical site are suitable for rebuilding: the site is not seismically sound, it is too small, and it would cost in the millions of dollars to retrofit. As a result, the District is now investigating the Brinkworthy site, a property the District already owns, thanks to a generous donation. Next Steps Additional items discussed at both …Read more about Ganges Fire Hall Project: New Hall Planning During COVID-19
Ganges Fire Hall Project: Reports Recommend New Home for Ganges Fire Hall
Project Update #3 Regarding Ganges Fire Hall With health and safety top of mind amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board and the Fire Rescue Advisory Committee now meet online to continue to work on the Fire Rescue Needs and Facilities Assessment Project. The Board and the Advisory Committee are deeply committed to creating safe, responsible solutions for fire protection and public safety, recognizing the impact of COVID-19 on our Salt Spring community. Our goal is to continue the leg work, ensure all questions are answered and be ready when the time is right to move forward. We are developing online opportunities for you to learn more and to provide feedback on any proposed options for a new fire hall. Please stay tuned for more details. Reports Recommend New Home for Ganges Fire Hall Two recent reports confirming the status of the Ganges Fire Hall were reviewed by both the Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District Board of Trustees and the Fire Rescue Advisory Co…Read more about Ganges Fire Hall Project: Reports Recommend New Home for Ganges Fire Hall
Salt Spring’s Firefighters - Lieutenant Peter Andress
Raised on Salt Spring by a family that supported the community through a variety of volunteer roles, it was only natural for me to follow that same path of volunteerism. In high school, I was a member of the Youth Coast Guard in Mill Bay. I was a member of the local Land Search and Rescue team for 12 years and served as chair for eight of those years. My transition to the the fire service was a natural one. As a Paid on Call (POC) firefighter, I am able to satisfy my need to be a contributing part of the community in which I was raised. This commitment to service has resulted in me also becoming a part of both the rope and water rescue teams in addition to the minimum weekly commitment of a POC. Each of these responsibilities require time, both to train as well as to share what I have learned from past training with my teammates. Becoming an officer was a natural progression, reflecting my time and energy commitments. There are times that my commitment feels like it is no…Read more about Salt Spring’s Firefighters - Lieutenant Peter Andress
How Safe is Your Lovely Roaring Fire?
Did you know that chimney fires are the most common fire emergencies this time of the year? - As our weather cools, and you begin enjoying your roaring fire, there are important safety tips you should know. Each year, Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue (SSIFR) is called to between 7 and 15 chimney fires. As these fires can easily spread - having already destroyed too many homes on Salt Spring - why not Burn it Smart to prevent fires in your chimney? The best way to prevent chimney fires is to: Clean, maintain, and inspect your chimney at least once a year Chimney fires are caused by accumulations of creosote, solidified flammable particulates from wood smoke. These deposits can generally be removed by annual cleanings, although chimneys with unusual configurations or extra heavy use may need care more often. When was your chimney last cleaned? Burn only clean and well-seasoned wood Burning wet or unseasoned wood creates additional creosote in your chimney. …Read more about How Safe is Your Lovely Roaring Fire?
Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2018 August
Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue August 2018 incidents report. Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue (SSIFR) responded to a department record of 108 Incidents for the month of August. These were: 38 calls for assistance, 17 medical emergencies, 1 residential structure fire and 1 suspected residential structure fire , 2 commercial structure fires , 4 MVIs (motor vehicle incidents), 17 brush/grass fires or suspected fires, 10 open burn fires, 3 Hydro fires, 1 boat fire, 3 hazardous material incidents, 2 animal rescues, 1 rope rescue, 5 commercial and 3 residential alarms This month, crews were busy with wildfires, each of them successfully-contained: On August 3, SSIFR responded to our first major wildfire of the season. The fire, in a hard-to- access wooded area on Beaver Point Road, proved to be a challenge. The fire crews were effective in containing the fire. On August 21, SSIFR responded to another south end brush fire, this time on Musgrave Road. Despite drought-like cond…Read more about Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2018 August
Don’t Miss Your Chance to Discuss the Fire District’s Budget Increase
On Monday, October 1, 2018, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Lions Hall, Fire Trustees will welcome your questions about a new budgetary direction they are proposing to pursue. Although much in the 2019 budget is the same as previous years, this budget also includes some new reserves, including one to help pay for a new firehall. New expenditures for the proposed budget include $137,350 for an apparatus replacement reserve fund and $300,000 to be placed in reserve for a new firehall. A significant majority of the Trustees believe these increases would be prudent planning. But, Trustees need to hear from you. Do you support raising taxes to set aside funds for future needs and, if so, how much should be placed in reserve? If you come to Lions Hall October 1, you will be given plenty of opportunity to learn more and voice your opinion about the proposed budget. Only after the feedback received at this public meeting is carefully considered, will the Fire Board finalize its 2019 budget. …Read more about Don’t Miss Your Chance to Discuss the Fire District’s Budget Increase
Fire News: Special Town Hall in Review
As you may have missed the Fire Trustees’s special Town Hall designed to initiate a series of conversations with the community, you may find a summary of this event interesting. . . . A New Firehall?: At 7:00 p.m., after Chair Per Svendsen welcomed everyone and introductions were made, a member of the public asked for an update concerning a new firehall. An engaged and interesting discussion ensued, and the majority of the evening was spent exploring opinions about a new firehall. Per confirmed that a two-acre property on Brinkworthy Road had been donated to the Salt Spring Fire Protection District and would likely be the proposed location for the new firehall. He said that members of the Facilities and Physical Plant Committee, as well as some other Trustees, had recently toured three halls on Vancouver Island and are planning to visit more in March. There was a great deal of discussion about the possibility of a building that would integrate services in addition to …Read more about Fire News: Special Town Hall in Review
Fire News: Grants for Improvement Districts?
During the incorporation debate, one of the most significant liabilities of improvement districts was their inability to compete for federal and provincial grants. Many do not know that this is due to a British Columbia provincial policy and that some other provinces allow their improvement districts to compete for these grants. Last month, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Adam Olsen visited our Fire department, as well as the North Salt Spring Water Improvement District. Attended by three Trustees as well as CAO Andrew Peat and Chief Arjuna George, all participated in a creative and cordial conversation about the possibility of a needed-policy change to allow access to grants. On October 17, 2017, the Fire Improvement District had written a letter to Adam asserting the unfairness that, although Salt Spring’s residents pay provincial taxes to support infrastructure needs of others, its improvement districts have no access to these funds. Spurred, also, by a Novemb…Read more about Fire News: Grants for Improvement Districts?
FireSmart Tip of the Week: Chimney Safety
How Safe is Your Lovely Roaring Fire? - Did you know that chimney fires are the most common fire emergencies this time of the year? In partnership with the Salt Spring Conservancy, SSIFR will offer a free workshop: Burn it Right” at the Library on Sunday, December 10 from 3:00 - 4:30 so that you can learn everything you need to know about using your wood stove safely and efficiently. Interested in learning more right now? Each year, our Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue (SSIFR) is called to between 7 and 15 chimney fires. As these fires can easily spread, already having destroyed too many homes on Salt Spring, it is simply FireSmart to take steps to prevent them in your chimney. The best way to prevent chimney fires is to: Clean, maintain, and inspect your chimney at least once a year. Chimney fires are caused by accumulations of creosote, solidified flammable particulates from wood smoke. These deposits can generally be removed by annual cleanings, although chimn…Read more about FireSmart Tip of the Week: Chimney Safety
Acting Fire Chief Arjuna George Accepts Position of Fire Chief
The Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District is pleased to announce that their current Acting Fire Chief Arjuna George has accepted the position of Fire Chief offered to him by the District. The employment agreement was previously approved by the full Board of Trustees. Special recognition goes to former chair Linda Lee and the Human Resources Committee who worked diligently, along with the Board, to create the employment agreement. The Board of Trustees is very pleased to be able to make this announcement and to place the epaulettes on the shoulders of Chief George, one of Salt Spring's own who has been with the fire service since 1997. Chief George has proven his dedication to the Department, he has demonstrated his skills on the fire ground in a command role, in the office as an administrator, and as an advisor at trustees’ Board meetings. Chief George has earned the respect of trustees, staff and members of Salt Spring Island Fire/Rescue. Please join me us congratula…Read more about Acting Fire Chief Arjuna George Accepts Position of Fire Chief
Fire Protection District By-election - One Vote Only
Some confusion about voter eligibility arose during the Fire District election in April 2015. The District obtained legal advice and the rules have now been clarified. Voters should be aware of the updated interpretation of the rules. To summarize, in order to be eligible to vote for the Fire Trustees, a person needs to meet all of the following four criteria. They must (1) be a Canadian citizen, (2) be eighteen years old or older, (3) have resided in British Columbia for at least six months before the election date, and (4) be an owner of land in the improvement district or the authorized agent of a board or corporation that is an owner of land in the improvement district, or the legal representative of any land owner who has died (Order of Probate) or become insolvent (Bankruptcy Trustee). These rules arise from provincial law and the Fire District's letters patent and have been unchanged for many years. The interpretation changes are as follows. First, individual…Read more about Fire Protection District By-election - One Vote Only
Message from Your Fire Fighter Team
Firefighters at Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue (SSIFR), both career and on-call, are one united team. We train and work together to serve Salt Spring Island. Our team only functions as well as each and every component. We rely on each other in hostile and dangerous environments. With friendships forged through adversity, we have grown to consider each other “brothers” and “sisters.” We provide professional responses, with a combination of on-call and career firefighters. The main reason we do what we do is because of our community. We want to protect our community, and we desire to be a strong diverse team that is there for the needs of Salt Spring. The firefighting team constantly strives to perfect our craftsmanship. We are responsive to community needs and we value your feedback. Misinformation and confrontational attitudes about SSIFR politics when shared in public can be damaging to our mission, morale and team cohesion. We urge the community to learn about how SS…Read more about Message from Your Fire Fighter Team
Live Stream: Memorial Service for Lt. Travis Guedes of Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue
Memorial service arrangements for Lt. Travis Guedes of Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue and IAFF Local 4467. Brother Travis Guedes , 35, was diagnosed with Brain Cancer in November, 2012. Unfortunately, after a courageous battle with the illness, he passed away on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Travis was in the fire service for 9 years. He was a dedicated firefighter and loving husband and father. He is survived by his wife, Sandy, and two daughters, Abigail, 8, and Haylee, 6. We invite you to attend the memorial service which will take place on Sunday April 28th at 1:00pm at 232 Rainbow Road (GISS), Salt Spring Island. There will be a reception immediately following the service at 351 Rainbow Rd (FARMER’S INSTITUTE). All event details and road closure information can be found here. Living Water Media will Livestream the event today at 1:00 PM for those unable to attend in person. You can watch the live stream here at that time.Read more about Live Stream: Memorial Service for Lt. Travis Guedes of Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue
Memorial Service for Lt. Travis Guedes of Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue
Memorial service arrangements for Lt. Travis Guedes of Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue and IAFF Local 4467. Brother Travis Guedes , 35, was diagnosed with Brain Cancer in November, 2012. Unfortunately, after a courageous battle with the illness, he passed away on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Travis was in the fire service for 9 years. He was a dedicated firefighter and loving husband and father. He is survived by his wife, Sandy, and two daughters, Abigail, 8, and Haylee, 6. We invite you to attend the memorial service which will take place on Sunday April 28th at 1:00pm at 232 Rainbow Road (GISS), Salt Spring Island. There will be a reception immediately following the service at 351 Rainbow Rd (FARMER’S INSTITUTE). Road Closure Notice On Sunday April 28, 2013, Rainbow Rd. will be closed to traffic between GISS and Lower Ganges Rd. The path marked in the map below is closed during the funeral procession for deceased firefighter Lt. Travis Guedes. We recommend that …Read more about Memorial Service for Lt. Travis Guedes of Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue
4-Way Stop at Central
Our friends at MainRoads have informed us that they will be installing a 4-way stop at the Central intersection (Vesuvius Bay Rd/Upper Ganges Rd/North End Rd/Lower Ganges Rd) today. As a reminder, the rules of the road are whomever arrives at the intersection first, has the right of way. If you arrive at the same time as another driver, the rule is yield to the right. Please use caution & drive slowly in this area.Read more about 4-Way Stop at Central