The Cortes Island Fire Department has spent a successful day of training to prepare for mass evacuation events. We were accompanied by BC Ambulance Service, Cortes ESS, Quadra RCMP, Cortes Emergency Radio, the Strathcona Regional District, and the Ministry of Forests.
I would like to thank Klahoose for allowing us the use of their wonderful facility.
The Cortes Island Fire Fighting Association (CIFFA) is proposing to add ‘First Responder’ to our service provision as authorized by the SRD.
Fire departments are often able to respond to emergencies more quickly than ambulances. The First Responder program was developed to enable fire departments to provide emergency medical care to the public until the arrival of the ambulance. More specifically First Responders are trained to “perform an organized and prioritized patient assessment; intervene in life-threatening traumatic injuries and medical conditions; manage a patient in cardiac arrest including CPR and the use of Automatic External Defibrillation (AED); recognize and manage a patient with a spinal injury; and record and report patient information.” (From Justice Institute of BC First Responder training course outline).
First Responder services in no way jeopardize the Cortes Island ambulance service (BC Emergency Health Services), in fact the local ambulance is very much in support of the proposal.
What will a First Responder service cost? CIFFA has been preparing for this development for some time and now have all of the equipment to add this service, paid for through fundraising and grant applications. We are now proposing to begin training our volunteers and Duty Officers to the First Responder standard (an eight day course). The first wave of training will be done by off-island trainers and will cost approximately $20,000. We intend that some of our own people will become trainers so that further training costs will be minimized.
There will be additional ongoing costs associated with adding First Responder services of approximately $21,000 per year : – the fire department will be responding to more calls (about double the volume), so there will be more wear and tear on vehicles and equipment, plus more fuel used – We will be increasing the Duty Officer pay to reflect the higher level of responsibility, training and call outs. – Replacement of medical equipment associated with F.R. calls. -Ongoing training costs (re-certification every 3 years using our new on-island trainers).
First, CIFFA will consult with the public to gauge the level of support for the program. Second, if there is solid public support then CIFFA will confer with the SRD and develop a service agreement. Third, the SRD and Director Anderson develop a plan to pay for this service through taxation. Finally we will complete the required training and become First Responders!
We have completed our re-certification course this past Saturday May 27th under the instruction of the Ministry of Forests. Thanks to all the 15 fire fighters who took the time out of their busy spring schedules to come out and train through the oppressive heat we were experiencing.
Cortes Island Fire Rescue
I am proud to announce that the Cortes Island Fire Department now has 19 members trained and certified to complete roadside rope rescue and extrication. Thank you to George and Al from KGC Fire Rescue for coming over here to deliver the two day course. I can speak for everyone when I say that we had an excellent time participating in these classes even though we did feel the heat of the mid day sun.
Congratulations to all of the 26 people who attended last weekends S100 wild-land firefighting certification course. That was eight hours well spent. I would also like to thank Henry Grierson from Strategic Natural Resource Consultants for coming across to deliver this training to us on short notice. We are more ready than ever to protect this island and its residents over the upcoming fire season.
Cortes Island Fire Rescue
Cortes Island Fire Fighting Association
#2 - 959 Beasley Road
Manson's Landing, B.C.
Phone: 250 935-6779