Despite COVID-19 disrupting our lives, CSRD Fire Services remains committed to providing top-quality emergency services to all our citizens through these challenging times.
In response to the current measures designed to prevent the spread of the virus, CSRD Fire Services has made some adjustments to its operational procedures when responding to emergency calls.
CSRD Fire Departments are still responding to all calls for service, but firefighters are taking extra precautions with hand washing, personal protective equipment and respecting physical distancing recommendations wherever possible. Additionally, we have increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures for all firefighting equipment, trucks and fire halls in an effort to ensure the safety of our firefighters and the public.
Effective Tuesday, March 17, all CSRD Fire Departments stopped weekly practices to comply with the advice of BC's Medical Health Officer in maintaining appropriate social distancing. Weekly practices are critically important to the fire department members to maintain skills and abilities. Thankfully, our firefighters have been training for many years to hone their craft. As a result of all this hard work, experience and dedication, our 13 volunteer departments are capable of taking several weeks away from practices without any fear of losing skills.
The CSRD Fire Service mandate is to provide structural firefighting services to the communities they serve. Our departments do not respond to medical calls or road rescue (vehicle extrication) calls. Medical calls are attended by BC Ambulance and road rescue calls are serviced by various road rescue agencies throughout the CSRD.
The specialized nature of the CSRD fire departments means there are not many calls where our members would be required to come into direct contact with citizens. This helps keep them safer when responding to calls for firefighting services.
Firefighters have been asked to be extra diligent in limiting any extra unnecessary interactions with others, so they remain healthy and available when they are needed.
CSRD firefighters remain dedicated community members that are there to help when a fire emergency happens. In this especially trying time, firefighters are even more aware of their role in keeping our communities safe.
The CSRD wishes to extend its appreciation to the public for its support of our fire services while we work to ensure our emergency responses can be as safe and efficient as possible during this evolving situation.
Photo: CSRD firefighters will be conducting extra cleaning of gear as part of new COVID-19 procedures for all fire departments in the region. (CSRD file photo)