Airport fire service an issue in Sandspit

  • Nov. 26, 2007 6:00 p.m.

By Heather Ramsay–Sandspit’s volunteer fire department is in dire need of extra funding, according to the local fire chief. Fire chief Robert Chisholm has requested an extra $12,000 in funding above the annual budget of $22,000, which the volunteer fire department receives from the regional district. The Moresby Island Management committee reviewed his proposal at its Nov. 14 meeting. The additional money is needed for training ($6,000) and gear ($4,500). One of the most immediate training requirements is for air-side and aircraft rescue and suppression, says Mr. Chisholm in his proposal. He says the force is without adequate training and would be unable to provide support in the event of an accident. Funding for the fire department comes out of the Regional District budget and a recommendation from MIMC must be sent before the board can approve any new tax requisitions. Committee members expressed concern that the few homeowners in Sandspit not be forced to take on the tax burden to cover the extra costs. Committee member Carol Wagner doesn’t see why the community should shoulder the cost for a service the entire islands need. She says sending a truck out to help a plane in distress is above and beyond the normal duties of a fire department. “They’re asking for a specific service,” she said. “If we’re supplying airport services, shouldn’t the federal government be paying for training?” she asked. Bob Ells, who was at the Nov. 14 meeting, is a member of the fire department, but he is also the federal government’s airport manager. He says an agreement was made 12 years ago, that the local fire department provide service, in exchange for all the equipment given to them when the airport closed its fire department. He says the government makes a payment in lieu of taxes that might be considered fee for service. Committee member Warren Foster said the document as presented did not provide enough information for him to make a decision. He said the cost of training courses was not included in the document. Other committee members suggested going to other sources to make up the additional cost. Mr. Foster admitted that the Gwaii Trust makes fire department funding a priority, but the proposal has to make sense. Mr. Ells told the Observer by telephone after the meeting that the airport does not require training, that is up to fire departments to decide, but different skills are needed. He says this issue is faced by fire departments across the province. “Ambulance and police have provincial funding and fire departments are left to whatever you can scrape together,” he said.

Just Posted

Maritime Museum project receives legacy grant

A special project of the Dixon Entrance Maritime Museum Society has been… Continue reading

Richardson Ranch celebrating 100 years of family and ranching in Haida Gwaii

Tlell Polled Hereford’s continue to win awards while the ranch becomes a popular spot for visitors

Indigenous voices finally heard with final MMIWG report, says Northwest B.C. advocate

The report contains more than 200 recommendations to multiple levels of government

Sustainble economy flourishing in Haida Gwaii and Great Bear Rainforest thanks to First Nations investments

From 2008-2018, funding initiatives led to more than $286 million in new investments

New exhibit at Haida Gwaii Heritage Centre, Kay Llnagaay

Ubiquitous Cocoons: My metamorphosing life by Kathy Pick will be running until Sept. 1, 2019

First ever Nisga’a mortuary totem pole unveiled in Prince Rupert cemetery on Father’s Day weekend

The pole was unveiled at Fairview Cemetery in honour of the late Robert Tait, renowned carver

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Update: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

Most Read