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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The Making of Heroes: Gulf Islands Fire/Rescue Cadet Camp

Pender Island Fire/Rescue, in association with Salt Spring Island Fire/Rescue and other partners in emergency response including the RCMP and BC Ambulance Service, will be guiding 25 courageous youths through an intense boot camp of hands-on fire/rescue training from March 18 to 23, 2019. Following a record number of applications, this year’s successful cadets (ages 15 to 18) include 13 boys and 12 girls from Salt Spring Island, Pender Island, Galiano Island, as well as the Saanich and Victoria areas of South Vancouver Island. A great way to challenge teens both mentally and physically, the Gulf Islands Fire/Rescue Cadet Camp is endorsed by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and has grown into one of the most respected camps of its kind in Canada. Totaling over 100 hours of rigorous training, the cadets reach new levels of confidence, self-esteem, courage, and teamwork through hands-on instruction in structure fires, auto extrication, high angle rope rescue, search and …
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Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2018 December

Incident Report - Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue (SSIFR) responded to a record 183 Incidents in December 2018, ending the year with our highest call volume in history of 816 incidents. These incidents included: Fires: 8 Hydro Fires, 1 Chimney Fire, 1 Mobile Home/Trailer Fire, 1 Vehicle Fire, 2 Brush/Grass Fires, 3 Sightings/Smells of Fire, 1 Miscellaneous Fire. Hydro Lines: 72 Hydro Lines Down and 14 Trees on Lines. Assists: , 24 Medical Responses, 4 Assists to BC Ambulance Services, 8 Assists to the General Public, 7 Assists for Miscellaneous Complaints, 4 Public Works Assists, 1 RCMP Assist. 10 Motor Vehicle Incidents (MVI). Alarms: 6 Carbon Dioxide (CO) Alarms, 5 Commercial Alarms. HasMat Events: 3 Propane, 2 Chemical (or Unknown) Spills or Leaks. Open Burns: 5 General Open Burns, 1 Campfire Operations Update: On December 1st, the Capital Region Emergency Service Telecommunications (CREST) hosted a Community Information Meeting at the Legion to detail the planned comm…
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Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2018 November

Response Report - Salt Spring Island Fire rescue (SSIFR) responded to 34 incidents in November totaling 633 incidents from January 1-November 30, 2018. These incidents included: 2 Chimney fires, 8 medical calls, 6 MVI (motor vehicle incidents), 3 Rescues (1 rope/high/confined, 1 elevator, 1 animal), 5 Calls for assistance, 3 Open burns, 2 Beach fires, 1 Tree on lines, 4 Alarm Bells (2 residential, I commercial, and 1 carbon monoxide alarm) Operations Update - Every fall, Mainroads Contracting organizes a meeting with other emergency response agencies to prepare for the winter season. This year, the meeting was held on November 7th, and SSIFR attended, along with other local emergency preparedness agencies. Initial weather forecasts predict a low snow year but potentially heavy rain and wind. On Nov 28th the Alert Ready Emergency Notification system was tested in BC. The Alert Ready system is Canada’s emergency alerting system. Alert Ready delivers critical and potentially…
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Carbon Monoxide (CO) Incident On Island - Do You Have An Alarm?

Do you have a Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm installed in your home? - Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue recently attended a carbon monoxide (CO) incident at a home that was too close a call for those exposed. Although it was originally thought to be false alarm, firefighters took reading of the air with a 4 Gas detector and quickly determined high levels of carbon monoxide. The propane furnace was identified as the probable culprit. After thorough ventilation and shutting down the furnace, the air quality improved. Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn. In homes, fuel-burning heating and cooking equipment are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. What are the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning? Carbon Monoxide enters the body throu…
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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…
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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. …
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Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 2018 September

Response Report - SSIFR responded to an above average month with 79 Incidents in September. Alarm Bells - 5, Assistance - 11, Medical - 27, HAZMAT - 2, MVI - 5, Structure Fire - 4, Open Burn - 18, Hydro - 1, Beach Fire - 2, Brush / Grass Fire - 3, Rubbish Fire - 1 Operations Update - After significant rainfall and a reduced fire hazard to Moderate/Low the burning ban that had been in place since July 18th, 2018 was lifted. This month we launched our annual Paid-On-Call Recruit Drive. Firefighters staffed the Fall Fair booth Sept 15-16 promoting the organization and our recruit program. Applications close Oct 31st 2018. Applications can be picked up at the Ganges Fire hall or online at www.saltspringfire.com/recruit September 4th was the close of our Wildfire Deployment for the Northern BC wildfires. For the second year in a row we have deployed SSIFR firefighters and our Reserve Water Tender to assist the Province. Our 2018 deployment spanned from August 15th to Septembe…
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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…
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