Friday, August 07, 2015

Nanaimo Fire Protection Questions Raised

 Burning Question
Firefighters union president calls for new firehall

Jester's Way house fire

 Southwood Drive fire house razed neighbouring house damaged
Southwood Drive fire neighbouring house heavily damaged

Response Times Factor Into Results
but not the only factor ......

The recent fire on Jester's Way has brought a predictable response from local IAFF president Mr. Rispin saying that had a firehall been built on Hammond Bay Rd. the results of the Jester's Way fire may have been different. Crews got to that fire just under 7 minutes after receiving the call, coming from the Labieux Rd. station. They managed to stop the brush fire and any damage to neighbouring houses. The house in the 1300 block of Jester's Way was however lost.

A fire on Southwood Drive in the south end of Nanaimo resulted in one house being burned to the ground and one neighbouring house suffering serious damage (likely totalled) while the other neighbouring house suffered serious damage to the exterior only. Fire crews arrived at this fire in just under 5 minutes.

Based purely on response times given the above two cases it appears crews achieved greater success at the fire which took them longer to get to. Of course the role of response times is not as simple as how quickly a firetruck and crew can get to the fire after it is called in, it also depends at what stage the fire was when they first got the call. 

One of the other factors is just how quickly the firefighters get the 'wet stuff on the red stuff' after arriving on the scene. As mentioned before how advanced the blaze is before they are on the scene will pretty much determine if they have any chance of saving the structure or whether stopping the spread to neighbouring buildings is really the best possible outcome is another consideration.

The idea that we need a firehouse within 6 minutes of every structure is one theory we seem to have adopted in Nanaimo. However, perhaps requiring all new construction to have fire sprinklers installed may in fact be a more effective method of providing structure fire protection. That of course would increase the cost of new construction in new subdivisions but might lessen the cost to all taxpayers rather than maintaining the current protocol for providing fire protection in Nanaimo.



  1. Must be nice to snap your fingers and demand a new hall - with all those new highly paid firefighters that will add to the IAFF coffers.

    I say build the new hall - if firefighters take a 50% pay cut. That will bring most of them down to about $50,000 a year and they get to keep the humungous amount of benefits!

    1. Thanks to all the firefighters who work so hard and risk their lives to save people, property, and pets from harm. Please don't let the comments of a few individuals get you down. Some people seem to turn decent pay into a race to the bottom. Sentiments like these help the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The passion of firefighters for helping our community stay safe is deeply appreciated.


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