April 4, 2012
The Canadian Press - Charlie Lake, British Columbia, Canada
All but two volnteer firefighters in the roughly 30-member department in Charlie Lake, have quit.
Firefighters in the northesten part of the province handed in their pagers to protest the hiring of a new chief and the tansfer of department control to the Peace River Regional District from the local fire protection society.
Trouble within the Charlie Lake department has smouldered for nearly two years, but flared when former Kimberley assistant fire chief Steve Munshaw took over April 1, to replace the long-time chief, who was not considered for the post.
Firefighters in the commuunity eight kilometers north of Fort St. John say they don't know or trust their new chief, a paid full-time staff member, or the recently hired assistant fire chief, who also receives a salary.
Officials with the regional district hope the dispute can be resolved but in the meantime, fire crews from Fort St. John or Taylor, about 25 kilometers further south, will respond to major incidents in Charlie Lake.
The regional district is also launching a recruitment drive in hopes of attracting new volunteer to the fire department.
I'm not talking just about those depts that have zero folks to be interior....I'm moreso talking about those depts that have a mix and especially defend the choice of having exterior only. It doesn't take long on these forums to see the discussions and those who argue for exterior only or those who standfast with utilizing children. Even going back in this discussion you seen another member arguing for having a mix and evn in The Secret List, there was an incident of a junior or explorer injured during a wildland fire. There are choices when discussing such issues like that as opposed to those depts that are strictly exterior only.
If a department has a limited numbr of interior firefighters, driver-only or exterior-only firefighters can actually function as a force multiplier for the interior guys, since it frees up enough additional interior firefighters to actually staff RIT.
If a department sends 10 interior firefighters on a couple of engines, a couple of tankers, and a light rescue (typical in a lot of places) it takes at least 2 drivers, a couple of outside firefighters (outside vent, ladders) and at least one water supply FF to dump the tankers. (Most still don't have remote -control dump valves) . Replacing those guys with non-interior folks means that department now has 10 interior firefighters at the fire instead of 5.
If I'm one of the interior guys, doubling my interior help sounds like a good thing, especially in the first 10 to 15 minutes when the attack is "make or break" and no mutual aid is yet on scene.
And...we're not on the Secret List, we're not discussing this with people on other forums, and in this case, you're talking to me, so the rest of that isn't involved in this particular discussion.