Fire Chief: Gareth Jones
Contact Information (fire halls are unmanned)
Main Fire Hall Location: 1847 Savary Island Road
Mailing Address: PO Box 79, Lund, BC V0N 2G0
Cell Phone: 604 578-8006
Savary Island Fire Control Bylaw No. 373 sets out restrictions regarding outdoor fires which include beach fires and campfires and any other outdoor fire that does not have a chimney; authorizes the Fire Chief to implement a ban on outdoor fires under certain conditions; designates the RCMP and members of the Savary Island Volunteer Fire Department (SIVFD) as enforcement officers for this bylaw; and provides for the bylaw to be enforced through prosecution under the Offence Act or through ticketing. If the Fire Chief is satisfied that an outdoor fire may not be safe, he will post a notice at the main fire hall indicating a “No Outdoor Fire” [TOTAL FIRE BAN] policy is in effect.
Backyard Burns and Burn Barrels: For a Backyard Burn SIVFD recommends that material be piled no bigger than 1m high x 1m diameter (40 x 40 inches) and have 15m (50ft) clearance from any structure or forest. Burn bins must be made of metal and be a minimum of 3m (10ft) from any combustible materials.
Campfires Only: Campfires built solely for the purpose of cooking or providing warmth. Material piled no larger than 0.5 metre (20 inches) high and 0.5 m (20 in.) in diameter. Must be a minimum of 3m (10ft) from any combustible materials. Proper extinguishing of fires, with water, is required or fines may be levied.
Total Fire Ban (No Outdoor Fires. No Campfires): Fines for having an outdoor fire or campfire may be $500 or more. The SIVFD is also banning all activities that may cause sparks, embers or excessive heat. All chain saws and lawn mowers are prohibited. Dispose of cigarette butts in a safe manner. You are allowed to BBQ with propane or charcoal briquets, and have an indoor fireplace fire.
If a Backyard Burn, Burn Barrel, or Campfire is allowed, every person who ignites or maintains any outdoor fire MUST ensure that the fire is under control at all times, is supervised by a person of at least 16 years of age, and is immediately adjacent to a sufficient supply of water or other substance that could extinguish the fire. Even if a person has permission to burn, burning without due care could be the start of a forest fire. If a fire does get out of control, and the SIVFD or BC Forest Service is called in, the person(s) doing the burning may be responsible for fire fighting and associated costs.
Fires should never take place during windy conditions because flying sparks and embers could ignite adjacent combustibles.
Before lighting a fire always check the wind forecast. If you see suspicious smoke or flames, call 9-1-1.
The SIVFD operates from a main fire hall at mid-island and 2 satellite halls at the ends of the island. Apparatus includes: 2 firetrucks, 2 quick response foam firetrucks, 1 pickup truck for transport of forestry pumps/hose, and 1 First Responder vehicle for medical 9-1-1 calls. Because of road conditions and terrain all vehicles are 4x4s except the 2 main firetrucks.
The population on Savary Island in the summer including cabin owners, their guests, and tourists can be as high as 2,500 – 3,000 by some estimates, and as low as 30 full-timers in the winter. The SIVFD is an all-volunteer fire department and the majority of personnel are seasonal. SIVFD members carry pagers and can respond to 9-1-1 dispatches to anywhere on Savary.
Have a Fire Extinguisher Handy
In the event of of fire, time is critical. An operating fire extinguisher can deal with many small fire incidents before they become big ones. Know where your fire extinguisher is and ensure that it has been serviced. The SIVFD arranges the sale and servicing for islanders when fire department extinguishers are serviced (usually every 24 months).
Bring a First Aid Kit to Savary
Even if you’re on holidays accidents can happen. You should be prepared to handle some of the small cuts and bruises on your own so you’re not scrambling around your neighbourhood looking for bandages and antiseptic while your child or spouse is bleeding. And remember there is no medical clinic on island. But if something serious happens call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the nature of the medical emergency to the dispatcher. The SIVFD’s volunteer First Responders will get paged to the address or location where they are needed. They are trained to handle the urgent medical conditions (like chest pain, difficulty breathing) and more serious injuries (like significant bleeding or burns, broken bones, falls from heights) and will help get patients off the island and to the appropriate Emergency Room (usually in Powell River). There are dozens of different types of First Aid Kits available so you should choose the kit that best fits your needs and budget. The SIVFD does not sell kits but you can buy one almost anywhere, like: Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, Pharmasave, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canadian Tire, RONA, Home Depot, Sears, WalMart and others. Alternatively, you can put together your own. The BC HealthGuide suggests including: bandaids; gauze pads; tape; scissors; tweezers; antiseptic; thermometer; latex gloves; and over the counter medications (antibiotic ointment; ASA; acetominophen; antacid; antidiarrheal; antihistamine; epipen (if history of anaphylaxis)). You might want to keep a copy of the BC HealthGuide next to your First Aid Kit, too.
Here are other important things to make note of:
- Know your address. It’s sometimes difficult to find the scene of of a 9-1-1 emergency. It would greatly help the First Responders and Firefighters if your property was well marked with a street number. Please bring some numbers next time you come to Savary. Put them on a tree or post (at the roadside, not on your cabin) so we can identify your location in an emergency. If it’s nighttime please have someone with a flashlight stand near the road to flag us down, and direct us in. It will save precious time. And please let your guests and renters know the address of your cabin.
- Remember Savary is a remote location. After a 9-1-1 call for a medical emergency, if First Responders determine that the patient needs to be assessed by an Emergency Room Physician, they will co-ordinate with Dispatch and BCAS to arrange transfer by special chartered water taxi, air ambulance, Coast Guard or BC Ambulance personnel in a private helicopter. After the Lund Water Taxi has shut down for the day, or in bad weather, this can involve a significant delay in transport off island. So, if you are having worrying symptoms in the daytime, consider calling the BC NurseLine or going to see a physician on the mainland, before a crisis arises at night.
- Be prepared to leave the island quickly if you need to accompany the patient to the hospital.
- Keep it all on. That’s your bike helmet, seat belt and personal safety equipment which are designed to reduce the effects of an accident. BC’s safety laws and common sense still apply here on Savary.
- BC NurseLine phone hotline 8-1-1, or online at www.HealthLinkBC.ca means easy access to non-emergency health information and services. You can speak with a nurse about your symptoms, or consult with a pharmacist about your medication questions. HealthLink BC is available every day and night.
- Poison control number 1-800-567-8911.