Response times are aided by the current location of the Pitt Meadows fire hall, which is due to be replaced. (City of Pitt Meadows)

Response times are aided by the current location of the Pitt Meadows fire hall, which is due to be replaced. (City of Pitt Meadows)

News Views: Selflessness

Daytime responses in recent years are low among those who are paid-on-call in Pitt Meadows.

The spat over hiring more full-time firefighters in Pitt Meadows is about more than money.

The previous council, and those before it, balked at such a move.

The cost, as pegged by city staff, to hire two more career firefighters is negligible at $28 a year for a single-family household, and $15 annually for those in multi-unit dwellings.

Yes, that could sting for some, and more so as the city adds even more career firefighters, as Mayor Bill Dingwall stated is the intention during Monday’s special meeting at municipal hall.

The cost, for now, seems low, especially given what the city would be gaining – having more full-time firefighters can only improve response times and public safety, even if they can’t transport to hospital or administer drugs.

And city CAO Mark Roberts said that Pitt Meadows Fire Chief Don Jolley, currently on leave, requested hiring two career firefighters earlier this year because daytime responses in recent years are low among those who are paid-on-call.

We’re told it’s because some of them work out of town.

But the fire department’s response times are excellent, as assistant fire chief Mike Larsson reiterated during his presentation at the meeting.

And the department averages 14.7 firefighters for structure fires, again an excellent standard.

The city department is further aided by a great water supply and pump capacity, and location of the current fire hall, being so central, is key to response times.

Earlier this year, the city’s commercial rating for Public Fire Protection was upgraded, affording the opportunity to potentially reduce insurance costs for local businesses.

Yes, Pitt Meadows has grown over the years, and the fire hall is undersized and due to be replaced.

But call volumes have remained stagnant, while fire suppression techniques and requirements have improved, even if some materials burn faster than others.

Incident types – medical, those for motor vehicle incidents and fires – are also stable.

A report in 2016 by Dugal Smith found the fire department scored well on response time, training, apparatus and equipment, inspection programs, service costs per capita, and the reduction of critical incidents.

Smith, from Burnaby, attended the meeting Monday and said that the current Pitt Meadows fire department model is the envy of many municipalities, some of which are reconsidering what services they provide.

He cautioned the city to not move too fast or too far.

We advise considering what the city is giving up in moving this way – more than 75 years of history and tradition, the pride of giving back to and taking care of the community, because it’s the right thing to do.

And they do it well.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

Just Posted

Laura May Hansen loves taking photos around town, whether it be adventures in her boat, on her bike, or simply hiking. In this case, she shared a few pictures of osprey spotted along the Pitt River. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Wildlife soaring over the Pitt River

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Maple Ridge city hall (The News files)
Maple Ridge turns to public for consultation on transportation plan

Mayor encourages all residents to participate in ‘important engagement process’

Ethan Page, left, and Nicky Walton received Excellence in Arts Scholarship Awards in music. (Special to The News)
Port Haney Artist-in-Residence Aaron Moran. (Special to the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News)
Personal reflections of Maple Ridge are needed for new public art project

Residents of all ages, backgrounds and abilities welcome to share stories and poems

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maple Ridge elementary school exposed to COVID-19

Exposure event at Glenwood elementary the seventh in past two weeks

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read