The Fire Department is staffed entirely by Volunteers. This means that there is not someone always at the Fire Hall. Volunteers are dispatched and respond to the Fire Hall for Each Emergency Incident. The only scheduled time that someone is most likely to be at the Fire Hall is during our weekly equipment checks and during our weekly training sessions.
- Sunday 8:30am – 10:30am
- Monday 6:30pm – 9:30pm
The Fire Department typically has between 28-35 members. As Volunteers they are not all available at the same time, but statistic show that our average response is 10-12 members. Monday to Friday during regular business hours is when we are at our shortest availability. For this reason we have Mutual Aid agreements with our neighbouring Volunteer Fire Department in Duncan, Mill Bay, Shawnigan Lake and North Cowichan. Should a major incident occur and the Officer in Charge requires additional resources and personnel, they can call upon our neighbouring departments for assistance. We provide the same services in return.
Our basic response plan involves 1 Officer to respond directly to the scene for the purpose of determining the exact problem and what resources are required. This person will most likely be driving their private vehicle and not be wearing a Fire Department uniform. All our Officers are issued High-Viz Red Jackets that display the Fire Department badges, but as volunteer they may not always have it handy. They should identify themselves as a member of the Fire Department and be carrying a Fire Department issued portable radio for communications. If you’re used to living in an area with Career Fire Department protection this may seem unusual, but in the Volunteer system this is normal. As Volunteer we routinely leave our jobs, our families and other activities because someone in the community has placed a call for help.
Fire Department personnel are trained in First Aid and CPR and carry specialized medical equipment such as an AED. For some Medical Emergencies the Ambulance service may request the Fire Department to respond as “First Responders” in order to provide initial care prior to the arrival of BC Ambulance. These situations may be due to the seriousness of the Medical Emergency, the estimated response time and travel distance of the nearest available Ambulance or the difficult or remote location of the Medical Emergency.
NO. All members responding to an incident are required to drive in accordance to the law. Private Motor Vehicles are NOT emergency vehicles and they are to be driven in a safe and appropriate manner. At times, some members may choose to activate their hazard flashers while responding to an incident. This is not meant to allow them special privileges, but is meant to indicate to other motorists that they are responding to an emergency and motorists may choose to give that vehicle the right of way. If you feel that a Volunteer Fire Fighter has responded in a Private Motor Vehicle in an unsafe way, please gather as much information as possible (Make, Model, Color, License Plate, Time, Date and Location) and report it to the Fire Department or the RCMP. We are not any help to our community if we are the cause of an accident while responding to an incident.
- March 15 to April 15
- October 15 to November 15
Read the Entire Bylaw: CVRD Bylaw No. 3716 1.During these 2 periods allowed burning consists of:
- Burning any material, piled or un piled, smaller than two meters in height and three meters in width, including burning barrels; and
- Burning stubble or grass over an area less than 2,000 square meters (0.2 hectares).
*Check for current burning status before lighting outside fires*
Check current fire danger ratings for specific campfire bans. A campfire means an open fire that burns piled material no larger than 0.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in diameter.A person may light or make use of a campfire when:
- There are no other restrictions in place for doing so;
- Doing so is, and will continue to be, safe;
- Reasonable precautions are taken to ensure the fire is contained;
- The person is equipped with a hand tool, such as a shovel, or at least eight litres of water, and attends the fire to prevent its escape;
- The person maintains a fireguard;
- The person carries out fire control and reports the fire if it spreads beyond the burn area;
- The person ensures the fire is extinguished before leaving the area.
Find the complete guide to campfires in British Columbia here.
There are many different brands of smoke alarms available on the market but they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric.
Ionization alarms sound more quickly when a flaming, fast moving fire occurs.
Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires. There are also combination smoke alarms that combine ionization and photoelectric into one unit, called dual sensor smoke alarms.
Because both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different yet potentially fatal fires, and because homeowners cannot predict what type of fire might start in a home, the installation of ionization and photoelectric or dual sensor smoke alarms is recommended for the highest level of protection.
In addition to the basic types of alarms, there are alarms made to meet the needs of people with hearing disabilities. These alarms may use strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to assist in alerting those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.
- Smoke Alarms powered by long-lasting batteries are designed to replace the entire unit according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- In standard type battery powered smoke alarms, the batteries need to be replaced at least once per year and the whole unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.
- In hard-wired, battery back up smoke alarms, the batteries need to be checked monthly, and replaced at least once per year. The entire unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.
Contact the Fire Department and request a visit for this purpose. The Fire Department representative will set up a mutually convenient time and conduct the necessary inspection. If the inspection does not determine any deficiencies, then the report can be signed off.