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Fire response

In 2009 our members responded to 2,151 calls, of which 484 were fire calls. These 484 calls included residential, commercial, and industrial fires, as well as vehicle, brush and grass fires.  In 2010 our department responded to 2,256 calls.  In the past a fire department was just that; a fire only department, not so today.  These call represent slightly less than a quarter of the total volume of calls for service we responded to last year.  There is no doubt that the fire service of today is a versatile group capable of providing a wide range of emergency services to you, the citizen. We don’t just fight fires any more.

 

Motor vehicle accident extrication

The ability to remove patients from damaged vehicles takes considerable training and expertise. The vehicles of today protect their occupants much more effectively than in years past. The reinforcing of today’s vehicles inhibits our ability to obtain rapid access to the occupants. Air bags and seat belt pre-tensioners make a vehicle impact more survivable, but in turn makes our job more dangerous. Much training is required to ensure we can remove patients quickly and safely. The Campbell River Fire Department attended to 203 motor vehicle accidents in 2009, which leaves no doubt as to the significance of this component of our job.

 

High angle rope rescue

The natural beauty of Vancouver Island entices people to venture outdoors. We are pleased to provide high angle rope rescue to the citizens and visitors of Campbell River. We have the necessary equipment and expertise to assist those who require rescue from natural obstacles (cliffs and canyons) and structures (bridges, buildings and towers).

 

Confined space rescue

Confined spaces are all around us and our members stand at the ready to provide rescue to workers from manholes, underground vaults, barges and industrial tanks.  Work Safe BC requires that workers entering certain types of spaces have a designated rescue service on standby.  Our department provides this service to the school district, public works staff and some industrial settings.

 

Emergency medical response

The Campbell River Professional Fire Fighters are trained and licensed as First Responders with the Emergency Medical Assistant Licensing Board of BC.  In many medical situations early intervention is critical for favorable patient outcomes, and as such we provide a quick response to a wide variety of medical incidents. Early CPR and automatic defibrillation has been proven to saves lives, which is why our department provides these life saving devices on all first line trucks and our career staff undergo annual CPR recertification.  Our department provides this important bridge between the time of incident and the arrival of BC Ambulance.  In 2009 we assisted the ambulance service with 1,025 medical incidents.  This number increased in 2010 to 1,346 responses.

 

Hazardous materials response

Our city is the hub for shipping on the North Island. Many times every day large amounts of chemicals travel over our highways and streets. The danger for a hazardous materials spill is ever present. The Hazmat response team uses specialized equipment and training to neutralize those situations that provide a threat to the public and the environment. Our Hazmat skills were tested nearly 100 times in 2009.

 

911 Communication Center

Our department operates the 911 fire dispatch center for the North Island.  Eight full-time and two part-time members of our local provide a two-person dispatch team 24/7.  Our center dispatches 50 fire departments and covers the geographic area from Lanzville north on Vancouver Island and also dispatches many smaller islands as well as the Sunshine Coast.  In 2009 our members dispatched 10,000 calls.

 

Fire Prevention Office

The fire prevention division of our department provides a high level of expertise in regards to fire safety, fire prevention and fire investigation.  Our fire prevention officers inspects sprinkler installations, wood stoves, restaurants and industrial sites. They are also available for fire safety presentations to service groups, strata councils, businesses and private groups.  The Fire Commissioner’s Office of BC requires that all fires be investigated.  This is a critical duty of the prevention branch in terms of identifying safety hazards, and bringing justice to those who set fires.  Our investigators work closely with the insurance industry and RCMP when investigating the most serious of fires.

The duty crew is also involved in the delivery of our fire prevention program. We conduct a fire safety inspection to every building larger than a duplex within the city limits. We perform about 2000 inspections annually.  Through this program we are able to meet our Provincial obligations under legislation, which requires that the city maintain an inspection program.

 

Public education

The members of our department are very active in the education of children as to the dangers of fire. We operate the fire safety house program, which allows every grade three student in the district to practice exiting from a smoke filled “building”. Fire hall tours are also conducted on a regular basis to school groups, service clubs and daycares.

 

 

Fund raising

The members of our fire department invest an enormous amount of off-duty time fund raising and working for our chosen charities. In the last two years alone we have donated over $70,000 to the BC Professional Fire Fighters burn fund and local charities. Our annual fashion inferno provides a significant portion of those funds but we also tend bars for other service clubs, operate the Canada day salmon barbeque and provide Christmas tree chipping.  All of these functions provide a means of giving back to our community, something near and dear to all our members’ hearts.