At the July 11 Fernie City Council meeting, Director of Fire and Emergency Services, Ted Ruiter, gave his second quarterly report, detailing the fire department’s activities for the months of April, May and June.
According to Ruiter’s report, a summary of the fire department’s activities include meetings with the building inspector and engineers to “address numerical addressing in downtown Fernie, conducting final interview for a probationary firefighter position, and assiting in the Rod and Gun Club’s annual banquet, hosted in early April. Chief Ruiter also attended multiple events, including a mine rescue competition and the Fernie Secondary School graduation ceremonies to present a scholarship. He also attended the annual B.C. Fire Chief’s Association conference, which was held in Richmond in early June. The Studebaker firetruck attended parades at Coal Miner Days and Sam Steele Days.
The report also spoke of the fire department’s accomplishments over the three month span, including calibrating carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide equipment, promoting the FireSmart program and hosting program workshops, and attending a Workplace Violence Prevention seminar in Fernie.
From April until June, the fire department recorded 76 incidents, bringing the total number of incidents recorded for 2016 to 182 thus far. The fire department has completed a total of 111 fire inspections, with 65 in the second quarter.
Chief Ruiter cited five goals for fire department in 2016, including continuing to support the FireSmart program, working with the City of Fernie’s Director of Planning, Bruce Lennox, to update the Community Wildfire Prevention Plan, and working towards developing the Emergency Management Capacity by educating Mayor and Council. Chief Ruiter also mentioned the development of a new fire hall, and looking at options for land acquisition and possibly partnering with the RCMP to construct a building that could house both operations.