Rural homeowners get insurance discounts in Maple Ridge

Some homeowners in rural sections of Maple Ridge may be eligible for discounts on their fire insurance premiums after the fire department...

Some homeowners in rural sections of Maple Ridge may be eligible for discounts on their fire insurance premiums after the fire department passed a series of tests last December.

The Maple Ridge Fire Department has been granted Superior Tanker Shuttle Service designation after tests performed last year where it had to get water to rural areas of the community that are not serviced by fire hydrants.

Deputy Fire Chief Howard Exner organized and executed a special exercise, which was monitored by the Fire Underwriters Survey.

Exner said the fire department had to be able to pump 200 imperial gallons of water per minute for two hours.

According to the city’s fire protection plan, about 60 per cent of the community is considered forested although much of the rural areas are serviced by hydrants.

However, areas south of Thornhill and the north end of Whonnock near Whonnock Lake are areas where the fire depart may have to shuttle water in if no hydrant is close enough.

He said passing the test is testament to the hard work by his paid and on-call staff.

“It talks to their professionalism,” he said. “There’s a lot more to it that just pumping out the water. There’s the driving and set up as well.”

Homeowners covered under the designated areas will be getting a notification in the mail with confirmation of this designation and a map showing the area.

He said fire department used the shuttle system at a house fire on the 25700 block of the Lougheed Highway on Thursday, June 4. However, the fire department was able to then pull water from the Fraser River to help contain the fire.

Maple Ridge fire chief Dane Spence said the new designation is a significant step forward for the department and the community.

“Maple Ridge has a large rural community that is on the forest interface and the ability for us to transport water to a fire scene so that we can seamlessly extinguish a large blaze is an important part of our evolution as a department,” said Spence.

He said the training was invaluable to his team and the bonus of earning the

Superior Tanker Shuttle Service designation is that that the homeowners can save some money on their insurance.

“I want to thank deputy chief Exner and all of our firefighters for their work on this project,” Spence added.

Homeowners in the area that are covered under the designated areas will be getting a notification in the mail with confirmation of this designation and a map showing the area that is designated.

In addition, the notification and map will be posted on the city website and can be accessed by going to mapleridge.ca and clicking on the Emergency Services link through to the Fire and Rescue page.