Fire News: Arjuna (A. J.) George’s One Year Anniversary as Chief

On the first anniversary of becoming Salt Spring Island Fire-Rescue’s eighth Fire Chief, Arjuna George graciously agreed to share some of his story with me. Our Island-raised Chief envisioned a future in customer service in the restaurant industry, hoping to someday become a chef with his own restaurant. When he became a volunteer firefighter in 1997, he caught the firefighting bug. Although working full-time at Thrifty’s, welcoming his newborn daughter, and helping care for his one-year old son, he spent every spare moment learning everything about firefighting. Never intending to make firefighting a career, he simply wanted to learn and practice all he could to prepare for the emergency situations that awaited him. Dreams of becoming a chef were put aside four years later when he became a full-time firefighter. From there, he progressed quickly through the ranks to Captain and Assistant Chief until 2009 when he entered management as Deputy Chief. He sees his strength…
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Fire News: Current Fire Board Making Real Progress

Some weeks have passed since Salt Spring’s divisive referendum and it’s reassuring to see our community again moving forward rather than circling its wagons before firing inward. The Library, the Rainbow Road Pool, ArtSpring, our Conservancy, Salt Spring Literacy and many other local organizations continue to meet various needs. Efforts are again underway to improve health care on our Island and the Salt Spring Foundation is becoming an increasingly positive force. Some progress is even being made, finally, in dealing with our community’s social housing crisis. And all of this is happening as residents from both the “Yes” and the ”No” referendum camps have begun meeting to explore areas of cooperation rather than of conflict. We can also add to this constructive picture the fact that the current Fire Board is also proceeding in both a socially responsible and cost conscious manner. I am not on the current Fire Board nor have I ever served on any previous Board. However, I ha…
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Fire News: I’ll Bet You Did Not Know. . . .

I thought that I knew quite a bit about what was happening on Salt Spring. Was I ever wrong! I had absolutely no idea of all the interesting training initiatives the Salt Spring Island Fire-Rescue (SSIFR) team is offering to keep our community safe. Worried about fire protection at home? SSIFR can help you with your carbon monoxide sensors and smoke detectors so that you - and they – can sleep better at night. How confident are you about being able to effectively use a fire extinguisher? (Be honest - how many of us have actually ever practiced this important skill?) That training is also being offered. Did you know that SSIFR regularly visits neighbourhood gatherings and community groups to discuss FireSmart landscaping and garden-wise alternatives to burning? You are encouraged to invite its fire-safety educators to your event. And have you ever wondered how a building you frequent would be evacuated in case of fire? The SSIFR has already offered evacuation training t…
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Fire Rescue News - Chief's Fire and Emergency Incident Report

Firefighters responded to 44 incidents this month, making a total of 592 incidents for this year. October 4: SSIFR Firefighters responded a nine-hour call comprised of four incidents - a medical call, a commercial fire alarm, a structure fire, and a vehicle fire on Sarah Way. The structure fire on Devine Road was a small kitchen fire that was quickly suppressed, but the vehicle fire on Sarah Way soon spread to become a structure fire as well. Firefighting crews did an amazing job putting a stop to this fast-growing fire and were able to salvage cherished keepsakes and family heirlooms. October 8: Crews were called to a structure fire on Trincomali Drive. A commercial garden greenhouse was burning, and the fire was quickly spreading. Firefighters were able to minimize its spread, limiting damage to other buildings and the property. October 25 Although not an emergency incident, SSIFR participated in the largest maritime training scenario in Canadian history with over on…
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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…
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Video - Photos : 380 Wright Road Fire

There was a fire at 380 Wright Road this past weekend. John Cowhig shared with us his photos and video taken at the scene. Dry weather and conditions on the island increase the importance of fire protection for the island. https://youtu.be/wqCjFaviKHY
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