Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2019 November

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 54 calls for assistance in November. Operations 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 Em…
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Working Together on Emergency Training

On November 28 & 29, 2019 a workshop called EOC Essentials (Emergency Operations Centre Essentials) was held at All Saints by the Sea. The workshop was sponsored in a large part by the Salt Spring Island Foundation - covering the cost of the course, books and instructor fees. Without their support we would not have been able to host this course on the island for this many people. Other agencies (SSI Fire Rescue, SSI Search and Rescue and the Emergency program) contributed additional funding for the venue and food. This workshop brought people together from many different agencies on the island  to discuss the operations of our Emergency Centre in the event of an emergency. The instructor was Sybille Sanderson, the recently retired Cowichan Valley Regional District, Emergency Program Coordinator. She brought lots of personal experience to the course including coordinating the Cowichan Valley Regional EOC during the windstorm last December. SSI Fire Rescue (7) Grou…
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Life Safety Teams Work on Coordinated Emergency Event Communications

Last night, December 3, a group of stakeholders met to discuss planning and communication in preparation for any weather events or emergencies on the island this winter. This group was made up of representatives from many different agencies on the island including: Salt Spring Fire Rescue, RCMP, Salt Spring Search and Rescue, BC Ambulance Service, Coast Guard, RCMSAR, Ministry of Transportation, CRD Director Gary Holman, CRD Headquarters, the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program, BC Hydro, Emcon, North Salt Spring Water District, Salt Spring Amateur Radio Society, and others who were unable to attend such as School District 64, telus, Shaw, Harbour Air, SSI Transit and Lady Minto. Brian Bogdanovich, SSI Emergency Program Coordinator has had a key role in working collaboratively to bring all these people together in one place to discuss these issues. This was the second gathering over the past month to discuss communication strategies between the stakeholders and the EOC (…
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Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2019 October

Response Report: Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to 32 calls for the month of October. Operations As part of our ongoing community education and outreach SSIFR is hosting the 1st series of Resiliency training for the community organized by the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program. The first block consists of four three-hour training sessions covering several key areas that will help our community be more resilient during emergencies. Registration is full for the 1st and 2nd series but there are plans to continue this community education program with the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program. Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue conducted our annual hose testing with over 25,000 feet of fire hose tested. Thanks to the testing we were able to find several hose lengths that were in need of replacing and failed the test. The C.R.E.S.T. roll out of the P25 digital radio system is only months away. Our department will be outfitted with new Motorola radios thr…
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Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2019 September

Response Report: Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to 66 calls the month of September. Operations Our wildfire season has come to an end with far fewer fires on Salt Spring and throughout BC compared to 2017 and 2018. Below is an overview of the burning prohibitions over the past three years. Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue follows the BC burning restrictions. This summer we worked with the Salt Spring Exchange and launched a daily Fire Danger Rating public notice that was well received with 751,006 views this summer. With the new changes to the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulations (OBSCR) there has been a change in how the air quality “Venting” is reported. There is now 1 Day venting that displays in blue, as where the 2 day more stringent venting is displayed in a light green. Map locations that are in red are areas with poor no venting. With the new update of the OBSCR Venting is now required for all burning where the material is gre…
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Detailed: Martin Galen Vandenberg Not Criminally Responsible in Death of Mother

Read the full detailed judgment that found Martin Galen Vandenberg not criminally responsible in the death of his mother. The identity of the deceased in the death on Salt Spring Island that occurred on Dec 6th, 2017 was confirmed to be that of 47 year old Heather Jones. 22 year old Martin Galen Vandenberg was released from police custody and was apprehended under the Mental Health Act. Mr. Vandenberg was suffering from a serious mental disorder at the time he killed his mother, and was not capable of knowing that what he was doing was morally wrong. The judgement also details a problematic pattern of cannabis use that lead to clinically significant impairment or distress and that there was ample evidence that schizophrenia existed in the absence of cannabis. He was under the delusional belief that killing his mother would save her from a worse fate.

DETAILED JUDGEMENT

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

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Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue Recognized With 'WOW' Provincial Inclusion Award

Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue is being recognized with a Widening Our World (WOW) award from Community Living British Columbia (CLBC) for their leadership in championing inclusion in Salt Spring Island communities. Spring Island Fire Rescue has set an example of inclusion by welcoming a CLBC supported individual, CJ, into the “fire hall family” for the past 16 years. Staff and volunteers fully involve CJ in a variety of duties at the fire hall, as well as activities, fundraisers and celebrations in community. For over 16 years, Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue has set an example of inclusion by welcoming CJ into the fire hall family. Every week, fire fighters have CJ test the emergency lights on the engines and other fire vehicles along with the sirens, radios, hoses and other vital equipment. They support him to go out on inspections and equipment testing runs, to change the fire hazard ratings on the signs at the three ferry terminals on the island, and at times,…
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ALERT: Have You Seen High-Risk Missing Man Jericho Labonte?

Victoria Police patrol officers are asking for your help as they work to locate high-risk, missing man Jericho Labonte. Jericho is described as a 31-year-old Caucasian man, standing 6’1” tall with a slim build. Jericho has dark brown curly hair and a full beard, however he recently may have trimmed his hair and beard short. A recent photograph of Jericho is below. If you see Jericho, please call 911 Jericho was last seen in the Oaklands neighbourhood of Victoria, BC on September 30th. He may be headed to Salt Spring Island. The circumstances under Jericho has gone missing are high-risk. Jericho’s family members and officers are deeply worried about him. Jericho is suffering from a health concern and needs to be located safely and quickly. If you see Jericho Labonte, please call 911. If you have any information on where he may be please call (250) 995-7654. To report what you know anonymously, please call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2019 August

Response Report: Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to 58 calls the month of August. Operations The Ganges Fire Hall suffered two roof leaks over the month with the light summer rain. To rectify this issue before winter arrives a roofer and an engineer are needed. Work has been undertaken to arrange both of these tasks. We also experienced an infestation of red and carpenter ants in the Ganges Fire Hall offices this summer. We will be closing the Office to undergo fumigation Sept 8th for a minimum of 24 hours. We are also in the works of removing all overhanging tree branches and bushed away from the building to reduce the issue. On August 7th, SSIFR Firefighters responded to a vessel fire offshore in the harbour off Maracaibo. The large vessel anchored offshore was showing heavy smoke on arrival. The Canadian Coast Guard was unable to suppress the fire but secured the vessel from drifting. SSI Firefighters patrolled the shoreline to ensure…
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Maracaibo Vessel Fire

Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue responded to a boat fire off Maracaibo on Salt Spring Island on August 7th, 2019. The initial call came in at 17:38 and crews completed the scene at 01:15 10 Firefighters responded with 4 fire trucks along with assistance from the Canadian Coast Guard and Eagle Eye Vessel Assist. On scene Firefighters found a 70’ vessel moored approximately 350’ from shore showing heavy smoke from inside the vessel. The Coast Guard was unable to assist with suppressing the fire due to safety risks and a large propane tank. Coast Guard was able to secure a second anchor to prevent the vessel from drifting to shore. Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue’s primary objective was to ensure the safety and fire spread to land or structures from flying embers. Fire crews patrolled for fire and extinguished a small wooden dock that had drifted in from the vessel. The vessel later sunk in the early morning of August 8th, 2019. Special thanks to Eagle Eye Vessel Assist, a…
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Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2019 June

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 58 calls the month of June.   Operations We experienced a very dry June with below-normal precipitation.  Over the month we fluctuated between HIGH and MODERATE fire dangers.  Our crews are prepared for this summers wildfire season as well as any deployments requested from the Province. For more information on Fire Danger Ratings and High Risk activities please visit:  https://saltspringfire.com/high-risk-activities-new/ Wildfire and Summer Forecast     Membership Training Our dedicated members trained on several disciplines over the month of June including: First Responder Training Ocean Water Drafting (Ganges test trials) Water R…
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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) Operations 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…
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Extensive Vandalism to Moon Snail Bus Shelter

In the morning of June 1, 2019 the glass moon snail bus shelter located in front country grocer was vandalized. This asset falls under the SSI CRD Transportation Service. The vandalism has been reported to the Salt Spring RCMP and their investigation is ongoing. At this point, the cost to repair the damage remains unknown. I encourage anyone with information on this crime to contact the Salt Spring RCMP at 250-537-5555, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Dan Ovington | BBA Acting Senior Manager, Salt Spring Island Capital Regional District
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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 …
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2018 Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue - Fire Chief's Report

As Fire Chief of Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue, it is my honour to present the 2018 Annual Fire Chief’s report. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District Board of Trustees and volunteer committee members who dedicated countless hours in 2018 for the betterment of our community and the department. I am exceptionally proud of our men and women that serve in all areas of Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue, they are skilled professionals who are pushed to their physical, mental and emotional limits on a daily basis. We have designed this report to highlight our performance and accomplishments we celebrated over the year. 2018 was an exciting time for our community as your fire department was able to elevate the level of safety, health and economic viability all while responding to a record high call volume. You continue to experience fast and effective responses due to our training and skilled personnel and the community’s o…
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Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue Respond to Early Morning Structure Fire

Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue responded to an early morning structure fire in the 100 blk of Thomas Road. The initial call came in at 04:37 and crews completed the scene at 08:00. 25 Firefighters responded with 19 on scene; 4 fire trucks and 3 support vehicles along with BC Ambulance and BC Hydro. On arrival, Firefighters faced a fully involved detached garage structure fire threatening the main house. Due to the fast response and aggressive attack, the fire was held to the garage only. The garage suffered severe damage with the main home receiving only slight exterior damage. Two occupants were home at the time and were alerted of the fire by their alert and responsive neighbour. If it was not for the attentive neighbour, the result of this fire could have been far worse. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. A very effective and professional response, led by effective leaders and efficient firefighters!
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Extensive Vandalism to Local CRD Office and Businesses

In the morning of May 12, 2019 the Salt Spring RCMP were notified that a number of the street-front windows in Ganges, including the CRD office on McPhillips Ave had been smashed.  Police attended and their investigation is ongoing.  No entry was gained to the office, and efforts are underway to repair the damage prior to the opening of our office on Monday morning.  At this point, the cost to repair the damage remains unknown. Anyone with information on this crime to contact the Salt Spring RCMP at 250-537-5555, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.      
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Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2019 March

Response Report: Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to 49 calls for assistance in March.  From January to March 2019, SSIFR has responded to 72 Fire Incidents, 71 Medical Incidents, 13 Rescues, and 10 calls for Assistance (Total 166 Calls) Operations This month firefighters attended our first of the year brush fires.  Two fast moving brush fires were a direct result of backyard burning that escaped into dry combustible material.  Burning is still permitted on Salt Spring Island but we urge residents to ensure they meet the minimum requirements outlined in the Burning Regulations (Open Burning Bylaw No.125) Incidents SSIFR Firefighters responded to report of “Smoke in a Residential Structure” on March 24th in the south end of Salt Spring Island on Bay Ridge Place.  Due to the fast response of the local alarm company the fire was contained to the area of origin resulting in minimal property damage.  The Alarm Companies responder (also a former SSIFR Fir…
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New Fire Hall – To Be Or Not To Be?

Salt Spring property owners have had the opportunity to review and vote upon a number of proposals for a replacement of the Ganges Fire Hall. All have been defeated but it’s time to look a little more closely at the reasons for the proposals and the reasons for the defeat. The Ganges Fire Hall has provided service since 1959. Most residents are aware that it was built on landfill, and should the Island suffer a major disaster, such as an earthquake, our Fire Hall, our rescue vehicles, and our personnel would disappear. That in and of itself provides the reason to construct a new Fire Hall at a new location. But there are more reasons. Our existing Hall is quaint, and some say sufficient. I disagree. It cannot house today’s standard “ladder truck” – a needed rescue vehicle. The current Hall was built for small pumper trucks. Limiting our equipment to pumper trucks jeopardizes our safety. We must be able to provide fire safety to any structure needed and approved…
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Fire Board Election Monday April 29, 2019: Risk of Foreign Influence?

Is there a risk that foreign powers will try to influence our 2019 Fire Board Trustee election? The good news is: Absolutely not. Nobody outside of Salt Spring Island really cares how we structure and manage our fire service. But this also shows how uniquely isolated we are as an island. While the Crofton Fire Department can call seven other departments for help, and they will respond within a very short period of time, our fire fighters here must deal with any possible threat scenario with the equipment, manpower and tools that they have at their disposal. The big storm before Christmas was an eye opener for our island. Within less than two hours of the storm hitting, the Island was completely disabled. Many residents lost power and even road access for weeks. While our emergency service and many volunteers were working tirelessly to a point of exhaustion, this storm showed how limited our resources really are when disaster hits. How will it look like if the big ear…
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Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2019 February

Response Report - Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to 58 calls for assistance in February, a 52% INCREASE over Feb 2018. Operations As the cold weather hit, so did an increase in chimney fires and Carbon Monoxide calls.  Chimney fires are a leading cause for structure fires on Salt Spring Island.  These fires can readily spread into the roof or structure of a building and have destroyed numerous homes on Salt Spring.  Chimney fires are often first detected by a loud roaring noise. Clouds of black smoke or sparks might be visible from the top of the chimney. In severe cases, flames can extend several feet above the chimney. To prevent chimney fires, focus on these two key ideas: 1) Clean, maintain and inspect your chimney at least once a year. 2) Burn only clean and well-seasoned wood. Membership Our organization sends gratitude to our great firefighters who retired this past month.  Firefighter Colin McDougall joined Salt Spring Island Fire…
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