Volunteer Firefighters


[original attachment deleted after 2 years]

Does this help?? Â Excerpt from WCB Regulations Section 31.23(4)

You wanted facts, there is an important one. No spinning of the truth or concerns over job security.Â

WCB regulations aren’t about “dealing with facts and have the best interest of the public at heart” – it’s about protecting workers.  WCB isn’t concerned with “the public” – it is concerned with Worker safety.

There’s a difference, which is what poolboy is referring to.

Don’t confuse public safety and firefighter safety – they’re not always the same.

Three firefighters show up at a burning house, and there are 8 members of the public inside the house. WCB regulations prohibit entry, because WCB ultimately is concerned with firefighter safety, not public safety. The firefighters are more important to WCB than the public in that kind of case.

Well, if City Hall is concerned about the public, then it’s obvious that 3 member crews aren’t adequate.  I don’t think anybody’s arguing that.

Are some of you guys firefighters?  You seem to have a lot of inside knowledge here. 

To answer your question, No, I am not a firefighter. I am somewhat closely related to many of the activities that the fire department undertakes. It was mentioned in one of the original posts of this topic that someone may be able to provide some information. I’m doing the best that I can with it. I’m not here to debate with anyone but decided to post to provide some of the facts that some of you were looking for. Some of you seem to want to debate rather than to listen to what is being offered. You can chew on it for a while and form your own opinion.

It is a fact that the WCB regulations prohibit firefighters from entering a structure fire with less than four firefighters on scene. It is a fact that City Hall has adopted a policy that puts the citizens of this community and the firefighters at risk by reducing the minimum on-duty staffing levels. There is no confusion on my part with the difference between firefighter safety and public safety. The firefighters have been battling this issue with City Hall for sometime now. City Hall had been warned that their cuts to the department would have fatal results and the recent death of one of our citizens has now brought the attention of the community back to this issue. Here are a couple of old newspaper articles pertaining to the subject. If this is not proof that the firefighters do not have the best interest of the public at heart then I don’t know what is. If they didn’t have public safety as a priority do you not think that they would rather stay outside where it is safe? They get paid whether they are on the outside of the house watching it burn or or inside trying to save the occupants.

In any case, this will be all that I have to offer. Perhaps someone else will be able to provide some more information if any is needed.

[quote]Firefighters warn cuts will have high cost
By Leanne Ritchie
The Prince Rupert Daily News

March 3, 2005
As the city prepared to hammer the final nail into its 2005-2009 budget plan Monday night, Calvin Thompson, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 559, asked city council to put the budget to referendum to allow the public to decide where cuts should be made.
Council declined.

The city, as part of its budget plan, is moving to cut $300,000 from the fire department budget. This will result in the loss of firefighters, as the majority of the department’s budget is personnel. There has been no indication as to how many members of the 20-member department will be lost but Thompson made it clear the union believes it will have an impact on the department’s ability to keep the public safe, but won’t end up saving residents a dime in the long run.

“This reduction in money can only be accomplished by the removal of fire fighters,â€[/quote]

Some interesting points being made on this issue, the most interesting one is that bit of sleight of hand suff at city hall.

(from the post above)

Local citizens are fuming at an apparent lack of accountability from the city over massive budgeted cuts to Prince Rupert Fire Rescue.
A group of more than 150 locals signed a petition during a four-day period last month that never made it onto council’s agenda, despite elected representatives being handed a copy of the letter supporting firefighters.

This year, $300,000 will be cut from the fire department’s budget, which is mainly made up of personnel costs.

(end of quote)

I think that tells us a bit about the way this was handled at city hall this year. It seems to me that a few of the councillors were agains the cuts, but somehow that part of the debate didn’t seem to resonate at city hall. That petition was rejected because it apparently wasn’t “presented” properly, why they didn’t allow it to be re-submitted “properly” is one of the great mysteries of the day then.Â

It seems that the easiest way for the city to sovle the problem, to me anyways, is to hold a special council meeting, allow those that wish to make their points address the council. City staff could explain all of this once and for all to the public, with nothing hidden into different layers of the bureaucracy. Explain why the three man crews are needed, what effect they have and if they do put lives at risk.

Explain the auxialiary fire department plans openly and honestly, if they want it to cut costs come out and say it. Explain the impact that the plan will have on the current professional staff and what the long term goals are.Â

And then have council revisit their plans with a vote, if they wish to continue on with the practice of three man shifts, then they can explain if they’re in contravention of WCB regs and prepared to suffer the consequences of their actions.

There seems to have been too much of a rush to implement this plan as it is now, not enough of a true hearing on the ramifications of it was provided which leads us to the tempest that seems to be brewing over the issue.

After that maybe we can have some answers to the question as to why we’re reducing the amount of police out there in a town that seems to need some policing… Many of the same questions being raised about fire protection could probably use an open airing at council chambers as well.

Cost cutting is hard, but not that hard if you find the right places to cut. Most folks probably wouldn’t target fire and police services as their first choice for number crunching…


I don’t think that’s what people are saying at all.  Don’t take it that way.  They’re saying the “WCB regulations aren’t about the best interest of the public.”  They’re not saying “Firefighters aren’t about the best interest of the public.”

Firefighters care about the public safety (doh, that’s why they’re firefighters).

WCB is concerned with the safety of the firefighters, not the public.

City Hall doesn’t seem to care about either.

Looks pretty clear to me. 

People agreeing with you and you disagree with them agreeing with you?  Quit while you’re ahead!

This whole disagreeing with agreeing thing sounds quite familiar…

Let me clarify something. I am not mistaking what the contributors to this forum are trying to say. I am trying to provide some information based on the quote that is below. He wanted proof and that is what I am trying to offer. Please don’t mistake how I feel. I feel that there is a tremendous amount of support for the firefighters in this forum and throughout the entire community. My firefighter friends, I know, also feel the same way. Quit while I’m ahead?? I’m not sure where that is coming from but like I said earlier, I have offered all that I can at this point. I just wanted to clarify my position. Thank you for the opportunity to express myself here.

From ismellfish’s post, the Leanne Ritchie story, March 3, 2005, para 2:

“The city, as part of its budget plan, is moving to cut $300,000 from the fire department budget. This will result in the loss of firefighters, as the majority of the department’s budget is personnel.”

Hmm. Sounds like a job security issue too. Ka-pow!

Hah!  I’m sure that you voted for the people cutting you, ismellfish!

Again, mistaken identity, mistaken point. Like I’ve said before:

Let me reiterate my main point:

Job security is not an issue for the firefighters currently. You can bend and twist it all you like but my point remains the same.

Again, thanks for the opportunity. See ya!!

The Mayor has his say! On Tuesday, The Daily News was promoting the Mayor’s response to questions posed by the firefighers Union.

The Pond response will apparently be in the Daily on Wednesday (hey isn’t that a free paper day??) which should at least guarantee a wider audience for the debate.

Good to see htmf having an impact on the news cycle in town! 

new changes to cpr mainly less respirations and more compressions …big differences

  1. one person can only do cpr for 2 minutes then must be replaced with someone new

  2. when emergency personel use a bag/valve mask to ventilate a patient there must be two people now…now to hold the mask down for a proper seal and a second one to squeeze the bag to ventilate the patient.

  3. Emergency personel now must contact the emergency physican after 12 mins of cpr to ask whether they can transport to the hospital.

  4. If transport is refused by the emergency physican the emergency personel must stay on scene continuing cpr until they reach the 30 minute mark then they are to phone the emergency physican again to ask for discontinuation orders.

With these new changes to cpr that are now in affect throughout the province of bc the need for more emergency personnel on the job is required now. Anyone who has taken their cpr and/or actually done cpr knows how tiring 5 mins of cpr can be.

Instead of just throwing wcb regulations out there you now have new cpr changes that favor more emergency personel being on scene.

…and no I am not a firefighter. And the new cpr is showing great improvements.

The rule won’t be revisted by council. So says the mayor in the city’s response to the burning issue of firefighter staffing levels. That apparently is the final word as described in the Daily news on Wednesday.

The Mayor states that he is content with our fire proteciton levels and that we have good firefighters but seems to suggest this is all about a bargaining position. He also for some reason seemed to dismiss the issue by commenting as a throw away line, that we also could post crossing guards around town to feel safer, comparing the fire dept to crossing guards? Which makes for a strange analogy.

Hmmm, never say never, somehow I don’t think it will be the last word (well on htmf anyways)Â :laughing:

Why we can’t have a public hearing on the issue and get all of this out in the open is beyond me…

Here for your research purposes only :wink:, is the story from the Daily yesterday.

Chief Miller says Prince Rupert is being protected by the very best
By James Vassallo
The Daily News
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

City officials say they’re insulted by allegations that they would condone unsafe working practices for firefighters.

“I read Friday’s paper and was very disappointed in the accusations,â€


From the Daily News yesterday:

However, the legal liability issue may not be so cut and dry. After the Daily News’ first story on Friday an anonymous package was delivered with two letters from 1992 detailing warnings from lawyers Boyle and Company to a fire chief in the Okanagan about staffing and time response issues. applicable) and liability for third party loss.â€[/quote]

Damn!! My cover is blown. You must have spotted me on your way out.

Hmm, so here’s something that could have been useful for the Mayor and City Council this week.

oipcbc.org/news/rlsgen/NR-Ri … w_Week.pdf

Us little people are just looking for a little information, that’s all!

The mayor put pen to paper this week, with a letter to the editor in the Daily News about the recent front page story regarding the fire department.

To The Editor,

Prince Rupert residents need to know that, in spite of the headlines, the city’s management team is working co-operatively, respectfully and out of the media, with local firefighters to deliver superior fire-protection at a price taxpayers can sustain.

The tone and tenor of the comments by Surrey’s Mr. West (Firefighters turn up the heat on city over volunteers, Daily News, Oct 4) betray the respect of the local dialogue, and his characterization of what’s happening in Maple Ridge, Langley and Surrey is misleading.

Yes, those communities are moving to more full-time firefighters, but they have also been bursting at the seams for years. Interestingly, Mr. West doesn’t mention that until very recently Maple Ridge (four times our size) had only six full-time firefighters supported by 80 on-calls; or that Langley (six times our size), had just 11 full-timers with 160 on call; or that his own department Surrey (Canada’s largest municipality), is nearly 50% on-call firefighters.

Prince Rupert has a great group of firefighters – 20 well-equipped, highly trained full-time professionals who constantly demonstrate dedication to their craft. And like almost every other community in the province, we are augmenting our core with motivated well-trained on-call firefighters.

We’ve got excellent fire protection – better than any community our size.

We’re going to keep it that way.

Respectfully submitted,
Mayor Herb Pond

(From Friday’s Daily News page four)